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The Geaeral Libraries 

University of Texas 

. at Austin 

•«4 C4M 1«2« LAC CO^.a 

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This Hem is Due on the Latest Date Stomped 




JAN 1 9 19^,,^, 
FEB 1 3 1997 

AUG 2 7 7397 

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DEC 1 5 1997 

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JUL 3 2003 

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Catalogub of Materials in the 


History of the Pacific Coast and 


History of Spain 

Thb Founding of Spanish California 

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8«C up and •teetrotyped. Pnblbhcd NoT«nlMr IMl 

An fflghli wMfitd no put •! tUa book imj bo 

loptodvBod IB 9MKf lono vitbovt ponoiiiioB ia wrMIoc 
Itmi tho pubUahor, cxocpt by o f ericwor wbo wiabeo 
to qoolo brief powottt in ooBBoetloa witb o review 
vrittOB for incluiioB ia nuigosliic or newiptper. 

Sixth Printii^ 1063 

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This is the third volume of the writer whioh is the direct 
result of his enjoyment during two years of a Native Sons 
of the Golden West Traveling Fellowship, which enabled 
him to make researches in Spain. The writer's first thought, 
therefore, in publishing this volume is to express his grati- 
tude to the patriotic Califomian order which has made it 

The other two works by the writer on the history of Cal- 
ifornia were directed primarily to the history profession; 
one {The Founding of Spanish Califomia) was an inten- 
sively documented monograph, and the other (Catalogue of 
Materials in the Archivo Oeneral de Indias) a technical 
manuscript guide. These two he is endeavoring in the pres- 
ent work to bring to their logical conclusion — ^the ultimate 
aim, indeed, of all historical scholarship — ^by publishing 
what he hopes may be accepted as an authoritative popular 
history. Since it is intended for the general public, this 
volume omits much of the professional paraphernalia, and 
does not hesitate to give space to interesting incident. As 
to its authoritativeness it is at any rate the product of thir- 
teen years' investigation of Spanish Califomian history, 
involving the use of thousands of hitherto unknown manu- 
scripts, as well as important printed materials not previ- 
ously digested or assimilated. 

Two outstanding reasons exist for the publication of this 
volimie. In the first place, it presents a vast amount of 
new material, some portions of which have never before 
appeared in print, while others were not known, or not 
utilized, by the general historians of the state. Secondly, 
an attempt is made to place the history of Califomia in its 
proper perspective in relation to that of North America as 

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a whole. Previous works have given a purely local narrative. 
This volume aims to show that CaUfomia history is impor- 
tant as well as interesting, — ^that the great Anca expedition 
of 1775-1776 and the Yuma massacre of 1781 demand in- 
clusion in any comprehensive history of the United States, — 
that Calif omia, while it has indeed a romantic history to 
tell, has also a great deal more than that to contribute 
to the cherished traditions of the American people. 

The writer first planned this volume seven years ago, in 
conjunction with Doctor Robert G. Cleland, whose point 
of view with respect to the American period of California 
history is precisely analagous to that expressed above about 
the era of Spanish rule. Since 1914 Doctor Cleland and the 
writer have been in constant communication, but other- 
wise working independently, with a view to producing, be- 
tween them, an authoritative popular history of California. 
Where the two works overlap, in the first half of the nine- 
teenth century, certain portions have been left for detailed 
treatment by Doctor Cleland, while others are taken up 
here. This it is possible to do, without a rough break in 
the narrative, since the aim here for that period is merely 
to finish the local annals of Spanish California, carried 
through to the end of Mexican rule. Doctor Cleland, on 
the other hand, tells the story of those events which pushed 
irresistibly toward the ultimate acquisition of California by 
the United States. Doctor Cleland's volume is about to go 
to press, as this work comes from the publisher. 

Bancroft's works and the writer's own monograph, The 
Founding of Spanish California^ have been drawn upon 
freely, and in less degree so also the great general histories 
of Hittell and Eldredge. Since these, or some of them, have 
been used in most of the chapters, it has seemed unnecessary 
to cite them. Other strikingly important items are men- 
tioned at the end of each chapter. 

The following chapters have previously been published in 
substantially the same form: I, V, VI, VII, IX, in the Grizzly 
hear magazine; IV, VIII, in Sunset; X, XI, and the 
Appendix, in the Soutkwestem historical quarterly; and XTV, 

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XXIX, in the Catholic historical review. Due thanks are 
here given for permission to use them in the present work. 

Some explanation may be made of methods adopted in the 
mechanical construction of the volume. Frequent excerpts 
are inserted from the narratives of eye-witnesses, as well as 
occasional well formulated statements from later writings. 
Two maps have been prepared to cover place names in the 

Spanish family names are employed according to the name 
of the father, and spelled, when possible, as the individuals 
themselves spelled them. In this connection it may be 
pointed out that in Spanish nomenclature the mother's 
family name is often retained, and written after the father's. 
Thus, in the case of "Rodriguez Cabrillo," "Rodriguez" is 
the father's family name and "Cabrillo" the mother's. 
Furthermore, there are more than a score of names ("Rodri- 
guez," "Garcfa," "L6pez," etc.), which are of l about as 
frequent usage in Spanish as "Smith" is in English. On this 
account many Spaniards use their two family names or oc- 
casionally that of the mother alone (if it is of the uncommon 
variety) to distinguish themselves from the many others 
of their kind. 

"Bucareli" has been adopted in spelling the name of the 
great viceroy who figures so prominently in this volume. 
To be sure, as he wrote it, it was "Bucarely," wherefore that 
form was employed by the writer in a previous work. It is 
true, however, that "i" and "y" were almost interchange- 
able in eighteenth century Spanish and that the name was 
invariably spelled "Bucareli" in contemporary printed docu- 
ments, including those emanating from the viceroy himself. 
Since also the word has been given that form in various 
Mexican monuments, it has se3med best to interpret the 
final letter as an "i". This indeed accords with present 
Spanish usage in writing this name. 

Accents are used in proper names according to modem 
Spanish practice, except in the case of certain place names 
that appear very frequently in English. Thus, "Santa Bar- 
bara," Sonora, with the accent, and "Santa Barbara," Cali- 

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fomia, without. There are possibly some inconsistencies in 
applying this rule. ThuSi ''&uita In^'' and ''Purisima Con- 
cepci6n" retain their accents, while they are dropped in all 
other California place names; and 'Tanamil" and 'Terd" 
are accented, while ''Mesdco" is not. 

"New Spain'' appears in translation, but other regions be- 
low the Rfo Grande retain their Spanish form. A notable 
instance of this is ''Baja California,'' frequently called 
''Lower California" in the United States, The correct 
Spanish name is employed, the better to distinguish it from 
"Alta California," the region now embraced by the state of 

To many persons, other than those already referred to, the 
writer is deeply indebted, notably to his "fellow-haunters" 
of the Bancroft Library, Professor Herbert E. Bolton and 
Professor Herbert I. Priestley, each of whom, indeed, has 
provided much of the new material set forth in this book, 
and to Doctor Robert G. Cleland, author of the companion 
history. Not least deserving of thanks are the writer's pupils 
of the past seven years. All unconsciously, perhaps, they 
have stimulated him by their interest, or lack of it, to trans- 
form lectures into what he now ventures to set forth in 
a printed volume. 


Berkslbt, California, 
November 4, 1921. 

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Pbbfacb V 

L Thb Eftbcib of Gsoobafht upon Caufobnia Hi0R«r . 1 

n. Thx Indians 9 

ni. Thb Chinssb along tsb Pacific Coast in Ancoint Timbs 21 
IV. Thb Japanbsb Oppobtunitt in tsb Pacific in tbb Eablt 


V. CobtAs and Caufobnia ... .... 43 

VL Obigin and Apfucation of tbb Namb Caufobnia 66 


Caufobnia 70 

Vm. Thb Manila Gaixbon 84 

DL Dbaxb and Nbw Albion 97 

X. Qau AND RodbI GUBZ Cbbmbnho 112 

XI. SbbastiIn ViscAfNO 124 

XIL Thb Ovbbland Advancb to thb Caufobnia Bobdbb, 1521- 

1687 143 

Xm. Bba Appboachbs fbom Nbw Spain to Caufobnia, 1615- 

1697 168 

XIV. Thb Jbsuitb in Baja Caufobnia, 1697-1768 .... 172 

XV. PtoGBBss OF thb Idba of Ovbbland Adyancb to thb Gau* 

VOBNIAS, 1687-1765 186 

XVI. JosiDBQiLTBZ 207 

XVn. Thb Spanish Occttpation of Ai/ta Caufobnia . . . 216 

XVin. Thb Pacification OF SoNOBA 232 

XDL Pbbcabious Footing of tsb Eablt Sbttlbmbnts in Ai^ta 

Caufobnia 243 

XX. Russian and English Aggbbsbionb of thb Pacific Nobtb- 

WBST 254 

XXL Antonio BuGABBU • • • . 269' 

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XXn. Bugabbu'b Attdntion to thb Local Probubms of thb 

Califobnias 282 

XXIIL Juan Baxttista db Ansa 294 

XXIV. Thb Founding of San FRANaaco 302 

XXV. Thb Commandanct Gbnbbal of the Fbontibb Pbovingbs 316 

XXVI. Thb Yuma Mabsacbb .330 

XXVII. Thb Affbbmath 343 

XXVIII. JunIfbbo Sbrra 352 

XXIX. FbbmIn Feancxsco DB LabuAn 364 

XXX. Spanish Califobnian Institutions 383 

XXXL Thb Roicantig Pbbiod, 178^1810 397 

XXXII. Inland Ezflobationb and Indian Wabs, 1804-1823 . . 418 

XXXin. Era of thb Wabs of Indepbndbncb, 1810-1822 ... 438 

XXXrV. Under Mexican Govbbnobs, 1822-1835 .... 455 

XXXV. Waiting for Old Glory, 1835-1847 473 

Affbnixz. The Litbratubb of California Hibtobt .... 487 

Index 511 



General Rbfbbbncb Map ....•••• FrwiHapiocs 

The Sea Route fbom China to Nobth Amebioa 22 

Califobnia Place Names ' • • • • 418 

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The land California was not always as it is today. Nu- 
merous evidences, such as sea-shells found on mountains, 
make it clear that, many thousand years ago, it was under 
water. Later it seems to have been a tropical land; remains 
of gigantic pre-historic animals which could have lived only 
in such a clime have recently been foimd in the celebrated 
lake of tar at the Hancock, or La Brea, Ranch near Los 
Angeles. Doubtless, too, the land had a very different shape 
from what it now has, and, indeed, many writers have held 
that San Francisco Bay is of comparatively recent formation. 
Their argument is based on the fact that no white man seems 
to have seen the bay prior to its discovery by the Portold 
expedition of 1769, although the rest of the coast had been 
fairly well known for over two hundred years; in particu- 
lar, the English navigator, Francis Drake, had made a stop 
of about a month a few miles north of where the bay now is, 
most assuredly, located, and appears not to have learned of 
its existence, even though he made a journey inland. Since 
nobody saw the bay, and since it was such a remarkable 
bay that it was at least an odd chance that it alone should 
have remained undiscovered, and since, above all, Califor^ 
nia is known to have suffered earthquakes in the past, why 
therefore, say these writers, the bay did not exist, but was 
produced by an earthquake at some time between 1579 and 
1769. It may be remarked that this theory has been ad- 
vanced most prominently since the California earthquake 


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of 1906. Furthermore, it is easy to account for the failure 
of navigators to see the bay. The winding character of that 
body of water and the position of Angel Island in the direct 
line of the Golden Gate, or entrance to the bay, make it diffi- 
cult of recognition from the sea, to say nothing of the fogs 
which so frequently hide that coast from view. Finally, 
there is no necessary reason why Drake's journey inland 
(the length of which is not indicated in his accoimt) should 
have taken him to a place where he could have seen 
the bay if it existed. Present-day automobilists will not fail 
to remember that there are some not inconsiderable hills 
between Drake's landing-place and San Francisco and, be- 
sides, vast areas of forest. But if the great western port owes 
its existence to an earthquake, what an extraordinary 
cataclysm it must have been I How tiny a tremble in com- 
parison was that other event of 19061 And what a benefi- 
cent stroke of nature for Calif omia and the Pacific coast !^ 

All of these matters are of little if any concern, however, 
as affecting the history of Califomia, and so too the possi- 
bility, sometimes referred to, that a new continent may be 
expected to rise up in the Pacific, making the Golden State 
an inland country, many thousands of years h^ice. For the 
purposes of history the geography of Califomia may be 
considered in the light of what it now is. Numerous moun- 
tain chains course through the state, running generally north 
and south, and separated from one another by narrow val- 
leys, except for the one long and broad valley which is the 
most striking characteristic of central Califomia. The 
coasts are rough and high, offering few good ports, and in- 
deed only one first-rank natural port. Communications by 
land with the outside world were difficult, for, where unusu- 

^ Whether or not the Bay of San "was in ancient times, according to 

Francisco was produced by an earth- the tradition of the old men, an oak 

quake, there was at least a tradition forest^ with no other water than that 

among the Indians to the effect that of a nver which was passed on foot. 

the bay did not formerly exist. In In proof of this tradition they say 

describing a trip he made north of that there are still found tninlcs and 

the bay in 1819 (referred to in chapter roots of oaks in the port and in the 

XXXll) Father-President Mariano strait" 
Payeras said that that body of water 

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ally high mountain ranges did not intervene, there occurred 
the vast desert spaces in the south. Thus California, with 
its best port hidden, remained for centuries in a state of 
isolation from the rest of the world. 

Even after the white man came, there was little in Cali- 
fornia in its natural state upon which he could live. The 
fruits for which the state is now so famous did not exist 
formerly, and there were no fields of grain or herds of do- 
mestic animals. The land was inhabited by Indians, but of 
so wretched a type that they were unable to produce any 
thing suited to the needs of white men or even to serve 
acceptably as laborers. Manufactured articles of the kind 
that white men used were, of course, entirely lacking. Little 
wonder, then, that Caspar de Portoli (commander of the 
Spanish expedition of 1769) should say that if the Russians 
wanted California, he would let them have it; in his mind 
such a gift seemed a meet punishment for the sins of their 
aggressive imperialism! 

Economically backward as California undoubtedly was, it 
is hardly necessary to say that she had abundant natural 
resources, such as a fertile soil, rich grass lands and belts of 
timber, plentiful water from the mountain snows, a variety 
of metals, including (most important of all from the stand- 
point of history) an extraordinary wealth in gold. And not 
least of all, California had an exceptionally agreeable 
climate. If the white man could contrive to get there, found 
permanent settlements, and establish communications with 
the outside world, the future would take care of itself. 

Granted California's economic potentialities, the most 
important geographical fact bearing upon her history was the 
location of the land with respect to the rest of the world. 
If California could have been placed in western or central 
Europe, it would undoubtedly have been one of the most 
populous lands of the earth. But California was in fact very 
far from the centres of white civilization, — indeed, almost 
the farthest distant point of the earth, when we consider 
the routes which necessarily had to be followed before men 
could reach the Pacific shores of North America. Further- 

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more, there were difficulties in getting there and staying, 
beside which the much better known hardships of the Pil- 
grims of Plymouth Rock pale into insignificance. 

To reach California from Europe a sea voyage was neces- 
sary, although it might be broken by a journey on land. 
The shortest route by sea, whether along the coast of Asia 
or of North America, was by way of the North Pole, but 
this way was impracticable in fact. A long voyage around 
South America or a much longer voyage around Africa and 
beyond Asia might take one directly by sea from Europe to 
Califomia. Land routes necessitated the journey across 
North America or Asia. The difficulties of the sea routes to 
California, even for such comparatively short stretches as 
the voyage from western New Spain (or Mexico), were due 
primarily to the length of the voyage. Down to the close of 
the eighteenth century, ships were small and frail. Boats 
of five hundred tons were considered large, while trans- 
oceanic voyages were not infrequently made by ships of fifty. 
Compared with such monsters as the 27,000-ton steamers, 
on which travelers of recent years have crossed the Pacific, 
it will be seen at once that the vessels of the past had their 
limitations, accentuated, too, by a lack of the advanced 
notions about ship-building which obtain in the world to- 
day. Nautical science had not yet gone far along other lines, 
either. Men did not know how to calculate longitude, ex- 
cept by a system called "dead reckoning,*' which reduced 
itself to guessing, and instruments were so imperfect that 
the latitudes found were rarely correct; the calculations for 
the California coast were usually over a hundred miles too 
high. Furthermore, the Pacific Ocean was not well known. 
Few charts existed, and none were accurate. Rocks, shoals, 
currents, coasts, and winds too frequently appeared where 
least expected, with the result that shipwreck was one of the 
ordinary perils of a voyage; only a sailor can appreciate the 
terror of imcharted seasi To this was added the terrific 
storms of the ill-named "Pacific." Pacific indeed it often is 
in the far south where Magellan entered it, but assuredly 
he would have given another name, perhaps the exact opponr 

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site, could he have experienced the gales of the north. In 
the words of the Italian traveler Gemelli Careri, who made 
the voyage from Manila to Acapulco in 1697-1698: 

"The Spaniards and other geographers, have given this the 
name of the Pacific Sea. . . but it does not suit with its tem- 
pestuous and dr^dful motion, for which it ought rather to be 
caU'd the ResOess." 

Particularly was it difficult for vessels beating up the 
coast, since they had to buffet against the ocean current as 
well as encoimter the winds; those who at the present time 
have made the voyage between San Francisco and Los 
Angeles appreciate the difference between going down and 
coming up! 

Other and yet more terrible factors combined to make 
the voyage to such a distant land as California little better 
than a sentence to death. Possibly worst of all was the dread 
disease of the scurvy. This disease, resulting from a lack of 
fresh fruits and vegetables, baffled medical science, down to 
the close of the eighteenth centuiy. Other ills there were in 
greater proportion than now, but the deaths from scurvy 
alone in a voyage from Europe into the Pacific might range 
from 40 to 76 per cent. Casualties were not infrequently 
quite as great for the short voyc^e from New Spain to Cali- 
fornia. It is no wonder that men were some times driven 
on board ship at the point of the bayonet, and compelled to 
go therel To be sure, there were usually many others who 
were willii^ to go, because of the enormous wealth which 
in some mysterious way they hoped to acquire. 

Once arrived in California the troubles of the would-be 
settler were only just begun. There was nothing in the land 
that could provide a regular food supply, wherefore he must 
bring with him all that he was going to consume. If the 
voyi^e had been long, the chances were that there would be 
little more than enough remaining for the return. It was 
impossible to stay, imless there might be a sure resort for 
more, and this inevitably necessitated a base of supplies 
reasonably near at hand. Moreover, there was nothing easily 
obtainable in California that could serve as an article of ex- 

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change. Cort^ and Pizarro had found vast quantities of 
ready-made wealth in Mexico and Perd, but there was 
nothing of the sort in California. Thus colonies could be 
maintained only at great expense, and governments were 
poor and disinclined to spend money, except for a definitely 
recognizable return; not until the late eighteenth century 
did European coimtries display a willingness to finance ex- 
plorations and colonization for scientific objects, and even 
then there was usually the ulterior motive of imperialistic 
design. Yet, for strategic reasons, Spain endeavored, during 
more than two centuries, to occupy the Califomias from 
Cape San Lucas to the north, and after her extraordinary 
efforts had at length achieved success she at her own expense 
supported the colonies of the northern coast, which other- 
wise must have failed. 

Those who would make the journey to California by 
land encountered difficulties which until the close of the 
eighteenth century were perhaps greater than those of the 
voyage by sea. Therewerethesameproblems of the immense 
distance to be traversed, including lack of information, 
scurvy, insufficient supplies, and lack of an article of ex- 
change, just as in the case of the routes by sea. In addition 
there were hostile intervening peoples to be considered. 
A small party might conceivably have carried supplies 
enough to cross what is now the United States, but it would 
almost certainly have succumbed to the Indians. A large 
party might defeat the Indians, but could not carry suf- 
ficient food. Thus faced by the dilemma of a violent death 
or starvation, it is no wonder that the Atlantic coast pioneers 
did not reach the Pacific until the frontier of settlement had 
been pushed many himdreds of miles to the west. Further- 
more, there were the actual geographical difficulties of great 
moimtain chains, wide deserts, and undeveloped lands, 
making the discovery of a practicable route a problem in 
itself of no mean proportions. 

A study of the factors just referred to makes it clear that 
under normal conditions Califomia could be occupied and 
held only through the development of an advancing base of 

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supplies — ^that is^ through the settlement of intervening 
lands, until a point were reached near enough to assure the 
settlers of readily accessible relief for their necessities. Such 
a development was boimd to be slow, requiring centuries for 
its completion, unless peculiar or extraordinary circum- 
stances should arise to make nations or individuals desirous 
of overcoming the great obstacles in the way. Strategic rea- 
sons impelled Spain to hasten her northward colonization to 
include California. An even more rapid settlement would 
surely have occiured if Califomia's vast wealth in precious 
metals had become known, for that would have given an 
exceptionally alluring economic reason for individual effort. 
The history of California down to 1848, therefore, reduces 
itself to this: those nations which approached by land 
would in normal course have the best opportunity of getting 
a foothold, because of the advantage of an advancing base 
of supplies; the first-comer would not necessarily retain the 
land, for if it proved desirable it might eventually be taken 
over by a stronger power; California was eminently desir- 
able, for it contained wealth in gold and a good port on the 
Pacific as original inducements, with eventual possibilities 
of a greater and varied character; the United States had the 
best opportunity under normal conditions, for she was 
geographically better located than her rivals for a solid 
advance, from base to base, by land, — even better than 
Spain and her successor, Mexico, who held the province by 
a thin and precarious line of communications, besides which 
Mexico was so weak that she could not have retained the 
land in any event. The history of Califomia proved to be, 
therefore, an interesting race between the development of 
the United States and the discovery of California's gold. 
Had the discovery come many years earlier than it did, 
some other great power might have acquired Califomia and 
the entire Pacific coast, or it might have become a Hispanic 
American republic, thus delaying or perhaps altogether pre- 
venting the opportunity of the United States to obtain 
frontage on the western ocean. 

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Most of the great peoples of the earth advanced by sea or 
land toward the Califomias. Chronologically considered 
th^ were the Indians (who were on the ground at the dawn 
of California history), the Chinese, Spaniards, English, Jap- 
anese, Dutch, Russians, Portuguese, French, and Amer- 
icans. The prize fell eventually to the powers which came by 
land. Thus the peoples of Spain, England, France, and 
Rusda b^an approaches which in the hands of their suc- 
cessors Mexico, the United States, England (in Canada), 
and the United States again (in Alaska) resulted in the 
acquisition of all of the old ''Califomias,'' stretching from 
Cape San Lucas indefinitely northward to the end of North 
America. The achievements of each one of these peoples 
will be taken up, or at least alluded to, but the major share 
of attention belongs properly to the Spaniards, who dis- 
covered and settled California, and to the Americans, who 
developed it into the great state of the American Union 
which it undoubtedly is today. 

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First of all the historic peoples to acquire California 
were the Indians. It is therefore pertinent to ask why it 
is that California is no longer an Indian country in any 
sense of the term. The answer will be made in course of 
many of the succeeding chapters, but it will become clear 
from this that the Indian could not hope to compete with 
civilized races, though he might have rendered their occu- 
pation of California more difficult than in fact he did. 

Anthropologists frequently attempt to classify primitive 
peoples according to different standards which they apply. 
To the lay mind these classifications are helpful, even though 
they are almost invariably denounced by anthropologists 
themselves — other than the authors of the particular classi- 
fications. Perhaps the most generally accepted mode of 
describing primitive man of prehistoric times is according to 
the implements he used. Thus there lived the palaeolithic 
(old stone) man, who used rough stone implements, followed 
by the neolithic (new stone) man, who improved his imple- 
ments by polishing them. Then came ages of bronze and 
iron, until historic times were reached, when man first b^an 
to write down records. Various palethnologists have dared 
to estimate the length of time man existed in each of the 
ages. Thus one of them (Mortillet) gives 222,000 years of 
life to palaeolithic man, and 10,000 for the neolithic, bronze, 
and iron ages together. The date for the beginning of re^ 
corded history is quite definite. That occurred less than 
7,000 years ago. That date is also taken to mark the beginning 
of a grade of culture which we call ''civilization/' 


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The above suffices, however, if at all, only for man in his 
most advanced stage at any time. Many people lagged far 
behind the foremost. It therefore has seemed necessary to 
apply some test whereby backward races may be recognized 
and differentiated from one another and from civilized peo- 
ples. One of the most useful of the classifications employed, 
if also one of the most impossible of application in a given 
case and therefore one of the most criticized by expert au- 
thority, is that which distinguishes between three grades of 
savagery and three of barbarism through which primitive 
peoples are said to pass before they arrive at a state of civili- 
zation. According to this characterization savage man is a 
wanderer. In the lower or arboreal stage he lives in trees, 
and eats fruits and nuts. This is the time when he first differ- 
entiates himself from other animals through his acquisition 
of articulate speech. The vanguard of mankind may have 
reached this stage anywhere from about 160,000 to 60,000 
B. C. Learning how to fish and to control fire, man passes 
into the middle, or fishing, stage. This may have occurred 
between 60,000 and 20,000 B. C. for the leaders of human- 
kind. Then man discovered how to make and use the bow 
and arrow, and passed into higher savagery, or the hunting 
stage. This may have lasted from about 20,000 B. C. to 
about 10,000 B. C. for those who reached it firat. With the 
invention of pottery and therefore the very great multipli- 
cation and improvement of his utensils, man passes into a 
state of barbarism, and tends to give up his wanderings and 
to lead a settled Ufe. In the lower age of barbarism comes 
the domestication of animals, followed by the beginnings of 
agriculture, at which point the middle grade of barbarism is 
reached. Both of these states first appeared in the neolithic 
age. With the use of metals, originally in the bronze and 
iron ages, particularly with the smelting of iron ore, and 
with the development of manufactures of a rude character, 
man advances into upper barbarism, from which he emerges 
into civilization when he begins to write down records. 

As already observed, no hard and fast line between groups, 
according to the above classification, can be drawn in fact. 

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A given people will often exhibit the traits of various groups. 
Furthermore, inferior peoples imitate the external forms of 
civilization in a very short space of time, when they come in 
contact with civilized man, but they can hardly be said to 
have advanced at one jump out of savagery and barbarism. 
After all, however, all that it is necessary for the layman to 
know is that the primitive man, however learned he may 
be in his own lore, when measured by the standards of civi- 
lization seems to have the mind of a child. 

Primitive Califomians ranged from a state of upper sav- 
agery to that of lower barbarism in the case of the Indians of 
the Santa Barbara Channel, who were by far the most ad- 
vanced. The average in the region taken over eventually 
by the Spaniards was about that of upper savagery, or some 
15,000 years behind the white man in general culture. There 
are many controversies about their origin and racial affini- 
ties which need not be entered into at great length here. It 
is generally agreed that they and the other Indians of this 
hemisphere came either from Asia or the Pacific islands, 
whether by way of Alaska, the long sea route (very likely 
against their will, driven by storms), or even across some 
prehistoric Pacific continent has not been definitely deter- 
mined. The number of tribes in California without close 
racial affinity seems to have been very great. According to 
Kroeber, the leading authority on the subject, there were 
as many as twenty-one linguistic families, not to mention 
the much greater number of dialects. One of the most inter- 
esting contentions is that California Indians show evidences 
of relationship with the Aztecs. Can the great Aztec migra- 
tion into Mexico have passed by way of California? If so, 
it would seem that some of the least desirable elements were 
left behind. As the Spaniards found them the California 
Indians were not nomadic. Often they were somewhat un- 
settled in habitation, but always within very limited terri- 
tories. The groups in which they lived were hardly tribal; 
indeed, they depended on language and topography more 
than upon any political or social organization. The small 
village was the most common unit. 

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Of first-rate importance historically is the number of 
Indians who dwelt in California. Not many years ago it was 
taught in the schools of this country that there were only 
some 250,000 Indians in all of what is now the United States 
at the time of the discovery of America. With the more 
intensive study of far western history there has come about 
a considerable multiplication of this figure. There is one 
estimate for California alone which reaches as high as 
700,000. This number seems far too great. Eroeber's esti- 
mate of 133,000 quite likely approximates the fact. Figures 
for the region occupied by Spain after 1769 are very con- 
fusing, since only the records of the missions (which were far 
from containing all of the Indians in the conquered country) 
even approach completeness. It would seem not unrea- 
sonable to say that there may have been some 70,()00 Indians 
between San Francisco and San Di^o or adjacent thereto. 
These figures become significant in the fight of the scant 
number of Spaniards in California. In the entire Spanish 
period the population of California was never much higher 
than three thousand, and for more than two decades it was 
less than a thousand. Indeed, in the crucial years of the 
early settlement Spain held some four hundred miles of 
territory, in the face of a patent if not very strenuously 
manifested Indian hostiUty (notably in the south), with 
from less than a hundred to about two hundred men, more 
than a thousand mites from effective reinforcement. It was 
this fact that made the whole history of California tremble 
in the balance. Success crowned Spain's efforts, wherefore 
imthinking posterity has assumed that the task was easy. It 
will be one of the purposes of this voliune to show forth the 
Spanish achievement in truer perspective and to indicate its 
overwhelming importance as affecting the later acquisition 
of the province by the United States. 

Against a determined and competent Indian people Spain 
would have found it impossible to prevail. Fortunately, the 
Calif omians showed neither the one attribute nor the other. 
This will appear from a general survey of their manner of life. 
Though there were many differences from group to group, 

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there was a general underlying uniformity which applied to 
most of them. It will therefore suffice here to describe them 
as a whole, making such differentiation in specific customs 
as may seem necessary. Judged by standards prevailing 
among civilized peoples^ the habits of the Calif omians were, 
to say the least, gross and somewhat in need of expurga- 
tion in the telling. Eroeber sums them up as follows: 

'Tthnologically California may be said to be characterized by 
the absence of agriculture and of pottery, by the total absence of 
totemism or gentile organization, by an unusually simple and 
loose social organization in which wealth plays, for a somewhat 
primitive and an American group, a rather important part; by 
the very rude development of aU arts except basketry; by the 
lack in art of realism; by a slight development of fetishism and 
by the conspicuous lack of the symbolism and ritualism so highly 
developed by most of the American Indians; by the marked prev- 
alence of religious restrictions connected with birth, death, sexual 
matters, and similar phases of life; by the predominance among 
ceremonials of mourning and initiation rites; and by a consider- 
able development of true conceptions of creation in mythology. 
These characteristics hold true in some degree almost throughout 
the entire state, but ia nearly every case they are most marked 
in the large cental r^on, the inhabitants of which may be justly 
regarded as the most tsrpical of Calif omians. Hand in hand witl\ 
these ethnological characteristics go the temperamental ones of an 
unwarlike natmre and of a lack of the intensity and pride which are 
such strongly marked qualities of the American Indians as a 

This may be illustrated by a discussion of some of their 
more obvious customs. 

Dress had little to do with style or morality, as those 
words are now understood, but depended more especially on 
climate. In summer the men wore a loin-cloth or nothing; 
there was no such thing as a sense of shame. The women 
wore an apron, or skirt, reaching from the waist to the knees, 
made usually of tule-grass. Skins of animals gave additional 
warmth in winter. Style entered in to some extent. Orna- 
ments of bone, shell, or wood were worn in the ears or hair or 
around the neck or wrists. Women '^beautified" themselves 
by tattooing their faces, necks, and breasts, and the men 
were not free from this bit of vanity. The latter often 

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painted their bodies grotesquely, hardly from a sense of 
humori but rather to frighten evil spirits and enemies away, 
or perhaps also from motives of "style/* 

Homes were simple in the extreme. The typical wigwam, 
made in conical shape of poles and banked with earth, with 
an opening in the top for smoke to go out and air to come in, 
and with a slit in the side for an entrance, was most com- 
monly used. In summer the Indians of central and southern 
California, who were somewhat more backward than those 
of the north, often found sufficient shelter under a bush or a 
tree. This does not* apply to the Indians of the Santa 
Barbara Channel, however. They had well fashioned huts of 

Those who hold that food is the mainspring of human 
activities will not be loth to admit that the diet of the Cali- 
fomians left much to be desired. They ate very little 
meat, because they lacked domestic animals and were so 
bestially lazy, especially in central and southern California, 
that they were poor hunters. Nevertheless, they were far 
from being v^etarians. On the contrary they ate nearly 
everything that teeth could bite which came their way. 
Coyotes, crows, lizards, rats, mice, frogs (and not merely the 
hind legs), skunks, and snakes were eaten by many groups, 
and when a dead whale drifted ashore it provided occasion 
for rejoicing, because of the meat it supplied. Grasshoppers 
were something of a delicacy. They were eaten in various 
forms, dried, mashed, or roasted. Many of the Indians 
caught fish, but many others, even of those who dwelt along 
the coast, confined themselves to taking salmon and lam- 
prey eels in the rivers. Bear meat and the flesh of other large 
game were rarely eaten, not that the Indians objected to the 
taste, but because they believed that such dangerous crea- 
tures must be possessed of a demon, and to eat the meat 
would mean swallowing the demon. The "rough delicacies" 
thus far named were not, however, the principal food supply 
of the Calif omians; otherwise, there would have been no 
Calif omians left to greet the white man. The Indians lived 
chiefly on foods that grew wild. Of these, acorns were easily 

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the most important item. They were gromid to a flour and 
cooked to make bread. Many wars were fought in primitive 
California over the possession of acorn groves. Next after 
acorns came seeds, especially of grasses and herbs. Roots 
and berries were also used. The soil was left untilled, for to 
the natives the land seemed bountiful enough as it was. In 
a word; then, the Calif ornians ate little more than that which 
came easily to hand without effort. It is hardly necessary to 
observe, that a country with no better food supply than that 
just described would be little better than a barren desert to 
the white man coming from afar to make settlements. 

Occupations were simple in kind. In time of peace the 
man ''busied himself^' in doing nothing, chiefly. Occasion- 
ally, he would hunt or fish, but much more often not. The 
women did all of the real work; They gathered the acorns, 
seeds, and other food, did all of the drudgery about the 
domestic hearth, and made clothing and such other simple 
articles of manufacture as the Indians required. Worthy of 
special notice were the waterproof baskets, stone cooking- 
vessels, and awls of bone that they fashioned. The northern 
and southern Califomians had canoes and rafts, but those 
of the central r^ons, despite their aquatic opportimities, 
seemed to be little, if at all, acquainted with this valuable 
adjunct of primitive life. Nothing but tule rafts graced the 
waters of San Francisco Bay. 

It was in war that the men foimd their true occupation. 
Their military customs are particularly deserving of notice 
because of their bearing eventually upon the Indians' pros- 
pects of retaining the country against the white man. At- 
tention has already been directed to the considerable num- 
ber of the Califomian Indians. Furthermore, they seem to 
have been far from cowardly; if not exactly brave, they at 
least showed courage in meeting death. Neverthdess, the 
Califomians must be rated very poor warriors. They had no 
idea of organization or discipline, and their weapons were 
nothing more elaborate than bows and arrows and clubs. 
Worst of all was their apathy in the presence of foreign in- 
vafflon. They rarely resisted, and never effectually. Battles 

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among themselves were not productive 'of much bloodshed; 
as soon as somebody was killed or badly wounded the fight 
was wont to stop. Yet, weak as they were, the Califomians 
needed only to persevere, just as the much less numerous 
Yumas did in 1781, to have wiped out the settlements Spain 
founded after 1769. Some of their other practices in war* 
fare may also be noted. It was customary to cut off the 
head, hands, and feet of a dead enemy to save as trophies* 
Scalping was rare, except among the southern Indians. The 
gustatory habits of the Califomians did not ordinarily extend 
to cannibalism, but a bit of a very brave enemy who had 
died in battle might be eaten — ^not because of the meat he 
provided, but, rather, in order to get his courage. Prisoners 
of war were almost always put to death, and not enslaved. 
There was little or no warfare of the migratory conquering 
type, for the Califomians had found their several abiding- 
places and were satisfied with them. There were some eco- 
nomic wars, such as those arising from disputes over acorn 
groves, or from the erection of a weir by a down-river tribe 
to prevent salmon from going up stream, and occasionally 
there were deliberate campaigns for plunder. Religion was 
also a cause for war. The medicine-men, or priests, of one 
tribe would sometimes proclaim that those of another were 
practicing sorcery and magic, to the detriment of the former. 
War was the natural consequence. A curious ceremonial 
often attended the Califomian wars. Not infrequently the 
time and place of battle would be arranged beforehand by 

The personal habits of the Califomians were, to say the 
least, filthy. Their houses and they themselves were cov- 
ered with vermin — ^which on occasion they would catch and 
eat! Food for the winter was often gathered in milder sea- 
sons and kept aroimd the inner walls of their simple houses. 
As dried fish was sometimes an important article of the 
winter food supply it may well be imagined that the odors 
of the home were none too inviting. Over some of their other 
private customs it is perhaps best to draw a veill 

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It is not surprisiiig that many diseases followed in the 
wake of the filthy habits of the Calif omians. To these were 
added a number of ailments, caused, they believed, by evil 
spirits, — ^imaginary ills, many would characterize them, 
though often the sickness must have been real, if indeed of 
supernatural attribution. To effect a cm«, a "barking doc- 
tor'^ would fii^t be called in, to diagnose the disease. He 
would "bark'* until the spirits revealed the locality of the 
sickness, and then perhaps would suck the affected part, 
pretendhig to cure it, or he might call in an herb doctor to 
administer treatment. Sometimes an air-proof underground 
room called the '^temescal'^ (an institution of many uses) 
was resorted to by the sick man for a cure. The idea was 
that in the hot (and be it said murky) air of .the temescal 
(often called 'Weat-house^'); ^ which a fire was built, he 
could get up a free perspiration, after which he was sup- 
posed to rush outside and jump into cold water! In parts of 
central and southern CaUfomia the dead were cremated. 
Their ashes were mixed with grease to form a paste, which 
was painted upon the face in sign of mourning. This was 
retained in honor of the dead until the wind and weather 
wore it away. Then mourning ceased. 

Relations of Indians with one another, even within the 
same tribe, were marked by little that approximated the 
present-day meaning of economic and political institutions. 
Yet, property and a kind of money existed. White shells were 
most used as money, but obsidian and the skins of animals 
were also employed as a circulating medium. The tribal 
chiefs were usually hereditary, but in northern California 
the richest wielded the sceptre, such as it was. Other than 
that they were leaders in war the chiefs had no real power 
beyond that of their personal influence. Government was 
mainly a matter for the individual family, and there the 
man was indeed the lord and master. Nevertheless, there 
were tribal laws, which were rigidly enforced. These dealt 
principally with murder and adultery. Usually, murder 
might be compounded for by a money payment, and in the 
case of the man this was true also for the crime of adultery, 

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but for the woman there might be a horrible death. The 
rigors of the law concerning adultery were due rather to a 
sense of economic injury, since the wife was the most prized 
possession of the husband, rather than to any feeling of 
moral repulsion over the act itself. Sexual incontinence 
among the unmarried was hardly an offence at all. 

The southern Califomians alone were not polygamous. 
The marriage ceremony was simple or lacking altogether. 
There were no intermediaries except relatives and no prom- 
ises made. In the north it was purely an economic trans- 
action, just as the purchase of a valuable skin would have 
been. Everywhere it was the usual practice for men to buy 
their wives. In the north the social standing of the woman 
depended on the amount she cost; if she were bought on the 
partial payment plan she was not considered fully married 
until all of the debt was paid. Naturally, the girl had no 
lawful right to refuse the man to whom her parents sold her. 
Naturally, too, divorce at the will of the man existed, — ^if he 
were willing to separate himself from'so valuable and expen- 
sive a piece of property. It is at least interesting as an evi- 
dence of the primitive mentality of the Califomian Indians 
that men were wont to affect the pains of child-bearing, in 
the beUef that by this procedure they Ughtened the labors 
of the woman. 

Slavery was not unknown, but was rare and never hered- 
itary. With plenty of women to do such little work as they 
required there was hardly a need for slaves. The institution 
served rather as a punishment for debt and as a penalty for 
illegitimate birth. 

The keynote to a broad understanding of the Indian mind 
lies siirelyin a study of his religion. It is impossible to give 
a detailed statement here, but it may suffice to say that there 
were gods, demons, and spirits, and omens and portents, 
everywhere and at all times. The rustling of leaves in the 
forest had something in it of the supernatural to the Indian, 
and so too the shooting stars of the heavens, and thousands 
of other little happenings as well. Naturally the profession of 
the sorcerer, soothsayer, and astrologer fared well among 

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the Indians. ParticiElarly was this so, because religion was 
quite apart from ideals of righteousness and good conduct. 
Rather, it would seem, it was a necessary evil, something 
to be guarded against rather than to embrace, for the gods 
were vengeful when they were not downright wicked. He 
was p^haps the greater hero who could successfully deceive 
the gods than he who blindly served them. Yet certain of 
the Califomians had a hazy notion of a Supreme Being and 
of a future life in which those who had performed the appro- 
priate religious services would get every material want 
satisfied. Once death came, however, it was necessary for 
the departed soul to race with the demons in order to get to 
heaven, and unless his relatives performed certain cere- 
monies to frighten the demons away or give the soul a good 
start it would assuredly lose. In times of peace, too, a regard 
for individual and tribal safety necessitated the keeping of 
lodge-fires. The temescal, to which none but the men were 
admitted, was often used for this and other rites, but the 
fire was retained there only in the cold months. The natives 
rarely traveled, due in large measure, no doubt, to the 
chains of religion which boimd up their lives with a particu- 
lar locality. Amusements, too, such as they were, grew out 
of religion. The temescal was something of a club-room for 
the men, as well as a religious temple. Dancing and feasting 
at different seasons were also in the nature of a religious 
co^monial. The dancing was accompanied by chants, and 
the men alone took part. Formal amusements, as such, did 
not exist, unless gambling is to be so considered. The Cali- 
fomians were indeed inveterate gamblers. 

It can be seen that no civilized state might be expected 
to develop among the barbarous Califomians. The only 
question was: How long could they postpone the inevitable 
conquest of the land by a capable people? They had the 
advantage of distance from civilized lands, intervening geo- 
graphical difficulties, and considerable numbers among 
themselves. Yet they did not delay white settlement and 
conquest for a single day, once the white man had over- 
come the obstacles of nature. This is indeed an evidence of 

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their insufficiency, but it was also far more than civilization 
had a right to expect. That the Spaniards were so success- 
ful in coping with them is more a tribute to the Spaniards 
than conclusive proof of utter Indian incapacity.^ 

1. Indiana of Califomia, Smith- 
sonian institution, Bureau of 
American ethnolcM^, Bulletin 
30, part 1, A-M, Handbook cf 
American Indians north of 
Mexico (Washington. 1907), 

2. Tyvea of Indian culture in Cali- 
fomia. University of Califor- 
nia, PvblicaHonB [in] Ameri- 
can archaeology and ethnology 
(Berkeley. 1904), y. 11, no. a. 

^The subject of the Calif omian In- 
dians has recently been treated ez* 
haustively and authoritattvely T>y 
Alfred L. Ej>oeb6r, whose manuscript 
is in the ln^wH« of the Smithsonian 
Institution, awaiting publication, as 
this Yolume goes to press. Among 
the numerous writings of Professor 
Kroeber already in print, the two 
following are of special intmst to the 
general reader: 

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In the past, present, and future the peoples of the Far 
East have been, are, and will continue to be a factor of great 
importance in the life of the American Pacific coast. Few 
persons today are aware of this relationship in the distant 
past. Yet it seems clear that the Chinese had some sort of 
opportunity to acquire a footing on this coast at least a 
thousand years before the discovery of America by Colum- 
bus. And in the early modem period Japan was once very 
near to endangering Spain's hold on her Pacific colonies. 
If it had happened that the Chinese had followed up their 
opening and populated the land, in all probability the Paci- 
fic coast, perhaps all of the Americas, never would have been 
white. European races might indeed have made conquests, 
but the examples of India, Egypt, and China herself today 
are eloquent evidence to the effect that a people whose num- 
bers run into the millions are fairly secure in their hold upon 
a land, however dominated they may be politically and 
economically. For instance, India, which began to be con- 
quered by European peoples some four himdred years ago, 
is reputed to have only about 100,000 whites in a population 
of 315,000,000, or 1 in over 3,000. To return to the relsr 
tions of California and the Far East, the oriental question 
has since 1849 been, mainly, one of immigration, while trade 
with China and Japan has for some time been an important 
element in the economic growth of the Pacific states. What- 
ever attitude one takes with regard to those countries, few 
or none will deny their importance as affecting Califomia 
and the other states along the Pacific in the future. China 
is said to contain one-fourth of the world's entire popula- 


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tion (413,000,000), and Japan is a country of over fifty 
millions. Moreover, both peoples have undoubted physical 
strength and virility, such that they are able to endure hard 
labor and privation in almost any clime, and both have an 
intellectual capacity which ah*eady enables them to cope 
with the white man. The Japanese have shown ability in 
warfare, and there is no reason to expect that the Chinese 
cannot also become effective. From these facts some have 
argued the imminence of a "Yellow Peril,'' striking at us, 
perhaps, through the weakly guarded back door of Hispanic 
America, if not directly at our gates. However that may be, 
few will deny that our relations with such great, numerous, 
and powerful peoples are boimd to be very important in the 
future, — almost certainly more so than they have been in 
the past. A history of California that did not give some 
attention, therefore, to our neighbors across the sea would 
most assuredly be lacking in perspective. 

There are numerous evidences that Chinese or other 
orientals visited this coast many centuries before Europeans 
came. No such difficulties in getting here were encountered 
by them as the white man had to face; indeed, the difficulty 
was often one of keeping from coming, in view of the storms 
and currents that drove them on. If one looks at a map 
showing the Pacific as it really is, and not as the false Mer- 
cator projection maps (which have for so long dominated 
and deceived us) would make it appear, he will see that it is 
possible to go in an almost direct line from China to Cali- 
fomia, without ever being far from land. As the accom- 
panying cut shows, the route lies by way of Japan and the 
Kurile Islands to Kamchatka, and thence by way of the 
Komondorski and Aleutian Islands to Alaska and Califor- 
nia. Between the farthest east of the Komondorski Islands 
and the farthest west of the Aleutian group there is a stretch 
of about two hundred miles of sea. At no other place along 
the route are lands so much as a hundred miles apart. Fur- 
thermore, there is a powerful and warm ocean current, 
called the Black Stream, or Japan Current, which takes this 
very coimse, breaking to the west again after it has left Cal- 

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ifornia to return to Asia by way of the Hawaiian Islands. 
As it leaves Japan and passes the Eurile Islands this cur- 
rent has a velocity of from seventy-five to a hundred miles 
a day. There is said to be an authentic record of some sixty 
oriental craft which were driven across the Pacific in the 
eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Furthermore, Indian 
traditions are full of stories about the coming of ships out 
of the west. In 1774 when the great Spanish explorer Juan 
Bautista de Anza was at Carmelo he saw a strange wreck, 
of a type of construction which none of the Spaniards there 
had ever seen — no doubt, an oriental boat. In 1815 Captain 
Alexander Adams of the brig Forrester came upon a Japan- 
ese junk off Santa Barbara. It was drifting before the 
waves, rudderless and without a mast. Captain Adams went 
on board, and foimd fourteen dead in the hold and three 
survivors. The boat had started on a voyage from Osaka 
to Yeddo (Tokio), both in Japan, and had been out seven- 
teen months. Once arrived on this coast it was of course 
possible for the oriental boats to return along the southern 
courses of the current, but the few who were still alive, ignor- 
ant of the route of the stream, may well have preferred not 
to venture again on such a terrible voyage. 

There is much general evidence that Chinese must have 
reached the western shores of the Americas and produced 
an effect on the life of the inhabitants. It is said that there 
are among the Indians many traditions of recognizably 
Chinese origin and also linguistic affinities, notably so in the 
Puget Sound country. Many of the customs of the most 
advanced Indian peoples of the American continents, the 
Aztecs, Mayas, and Incas, show a marked similarity to those 
of the Chinese. Some of the Indian hieroglyphics were like 
those the Chinese employ. There were noteworthy resem- 
blances in religious practices. Such institutions and beliefs 
as the transmigration of souls, the highly developed monas- 
tic system (in Mexico), religious festivals, household gods, 
the use of incense and chantings, of charms and amulets, 
cremation, the preservation of ashes in urns, and the idea 
that an eclipse was produced by a celestial dragon devour^ 

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ing the sun were common to both China and the Americas. 
There were many similarities in architecture. A notable 
instance was that of the rope-like bridges in Perd, made 
of twisted willow branches, idmost exactly like the twisted 
bamboo bridges of certain parts of China. Many other cus- 
toms of the two lands were peculiarly alike, — ^political, 
marital, and industrial. In China the emperor used to plough 
a furrow annually with a yellow plough. This ceremony is 
said to be nearly four thousand yearsold. In Peni the same 
ceremony was performed by the Inca monarch, but there the 
plough was of gold. 

Numerous as'are these evidences, they cannot be accorded 
too much weight, for it is customary for those peoples who 
have not achieved the fullness of civilization to develop quite 
independently from one another on markedly similar lines. 
Even the ceremony of the plough has been found in other 
lands. There are actual remains, however, to prove a likeli- 
hood, and ahnost a certamty, of Chinese appearances on 
our Pacific coast in the very distant past. In the course of 
excavations ancient Chinese implements and coins have 
been found. Notable instances of this have occurred in the 
Pacific northwest. A Chinese bronze fan, with ancient 
Chinese characters, was found at Victoria, British Columbia, 
and at a place called Cassiar in the same province some brass 
coins were unearthed said to be over three thousand years 

The one thing lacking to prove Chinese visits to this coast 
has been that of incontrovertible literary evidence. Accord- 
ing to the New York Tribune of September 10, 1890, the 
Reverend Doctor Shaw (a missionary in China) claimed to 
have discovered a manuscript at Si-Ngan-Foo, China, prov- 
ing that a regular trade existed between China and Califor- 
nia in the first centiuy of the Christian era. This assertion 
seems never to have been verified. Definite literary evidence 
does exist, however, showing that as early as the fifth cen- 
tury the Chinese knew of a land called Fusang, which many 
writers have identified with the Pacific coast of North 
America. The story is found in volume 231 of the great 

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Chinese encyclopedia, and not only there but in many other 
Chinese works of recognized authority and has long been 
known to Chinese scholars. In other words, the account 
itself is authentic, whatever the truth may be concerning the 
facts it relates. The facts stated in the Chinese encyclo- 
pedia are substantially as follows: 

In 499 A. D. a Buddhist priest, named Hwui Sh&n, came 
to China from the kingdom of Fusang. He told of the route 
he had taken from China to that country, giving directions 
followed and distances traveled, and told about the peoples 
encountered on the way. Fusang he described in detail. 
He wound up his account by saying that in 458 five mendi- 
cant Buddhist priests from Cabul (Afghanistan) went there, 
introduced Buddhism and the monastic system, and re- 
formed the manners and customs of the country. 

The remarkable feature about this story is that it corre- 
sponds so nearly with the facts about the Pacific coast as we 
now know them. There were some inconsistencies, however. 
Some of the translations make Hwui Sh&n say that the na- 
tives had horses, carts, and grapes, — ^things which are usu- 
ally r^arded as not having existed in the Americas. Very 
few travelers who have seen a land for the first time, how- 
ever, without the advantage of other travelers' accounts to 
correct their own faults in perspective, have been accurate 
in all the details of their story. Herodotus told of a land in 
which the air was filled with feathers, and he had heard of 
another (but doubted the truth of the story) where men 
slept for six months at a time. Naturally, to peoples who 
rarely or never saw a snowstorm and who had never heard 
of an Arctic winter Herodotus long seemed to be the "father 
of liars." Today nobody doubts any longer that Herodotus 
was truthful and essentially accurate about the peoples he 
described. Similarly, it is perfectly clear that Marco Polo 
was in China in the thirteenth century and that his tale of 
travels was founded on fact. The value of his account is but 
little lessened when he tells of a bird (the roc of the Arabian 
nights) so large and strong that it could seize an elephant 
and lift it in the air, of oxen as large as elephants, of men 

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with tails, and of dogs the size of asses. And so on od infini- 
tum, — indeed what more remarkable yams were spun than 
those of the Spanish conquerors of the New World (of 
which, later) in their expeditions along our own Pacific 
coast? Furthermore; Hwui Sh&n was not a Chinese, and had 
to talk through an interpreter. What more natural than that 
these things with which the Chinese were not familiar should 
be interpreted in terms of things they knew? It may be 
added, too, that Hwui Sh&n's account in its present form is 
the result of many ages of successive copyings. Not only 
have words had more than fourteen centuries in which some- 
what to change their meaning, but also the "crimes" of copy- 
ists are too frequent in all ages to permit of any doubt in the 
minds of those who have used documentary materials as to 
the likelihood of error. Indeed, some have preferred to be- 
lieve that the word translated as "grapes" was intended for 
tomatoes." When all is said and done, however, every 
other bit of evidence is in favor of the authenticity of the 
voyage to Fusang. The only remaining doubt is the loca- 
tion of Fusang. 

Hwui Sh&n's description of the route traveled and the 
distances would make Fusang lie about in Califomia or 
Mexico. The only other possibility that has ever been dis- 
cussed is whether it might have been Japan. This, however, 
was impossible. There are authentic records of Chinese 
knowledge of Japan at least as early as 57 A. D., and hardly 
any of Hwui Sh&n's description of Fusang could have 
applied to Japan. The distance from China was many 
thousand miles too short; Fusang was said to be about five 
thousand miles east, or southeast, of Great Han, which he 
described as about three thousand miles northeast of Japan. 
This in itself is almost clear proof that he could not have 
referred to Japan. Furthermore, there is no tree in Japan at 
all resembling the wonderful "Fusang tree" of Hwui Shfin's 
account. Finally, Buddhism was not introduced into Japan 
until 552 A. D. 

It is clear, then, either that Fusang was in America, pre- 
sumably in Mexico, or else that the story was a lie. The 

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evidence that it was true is almost overwhelming. In the 
first place, Hwui Sh&n succeeded in inspiring all whom he 
met with confidence in his story. The story itself bears in- 
ternal evidences of truthfulness, including its freedom from 
the marvelous or unnatural. Hwui Sh&n had with him a 
large quantity of so-called silk and a strange mirror, the de- 
scription of which corresponds respectively to the vegetable 
fiber of the century-plant and the obsidian mirrors of the Az- 
tecs and their predecessors. Most important of all, he gave 
an accurate description of the peoples of the Aleutian Islands 
and Alaska and especially of life and conditions in what 
could only have been Mexico. 

In his recital about Fusang, Hwui Sh&n said: 

"That region has many Fusang trees, and it is from these trees 
that the country derives its name. The leaves of the Fusang re- 
semble the Tung tree, and the first sprouts are like those of the 
bamboo. The people of the country eat them and the fruit, which 
is like a pear in form, but of reddish color. The bark is spun into 
thread, from which they make cloth for wearing apparel. They 
also manufacture a finer fabric from it. • • and make paper from 
the bark of the Fusang tree." 

''Mexico'' means the land of the century-plant, just as 
"Fusang" was named for the "Fusang tree." In no other 
country in the world is there a plant put to such uses as 
those described by Hwui Shfin but the maguey, or century- 
plant, of Mexico. The sprouts of the century-plant do re- 
semble those of the bamboo, and the people do eat them. 
The plant does furnish a rough sort of thread, from which a 
kind of hempen cloth is made and also a fine variety resem- 
bling linen. Fiu^hermore, paper is made from the century- 
plant, but from the fiber and not the bark. The prickly pear 
of Mexico is usually reddish and edible, though indeed it 
does not grow on the century-plant. Hwui Shfin might have 
added yet other attributes of the century-plant, notably its 
provision of intoxicating liquor, but it seems quite improb- 
able that he should have hit upon such a clearly recognizable 
description of a wonderful plant which was utterly unknown 
in Asia unless he had in fact seen it. 

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"The country contains no iron" said Hwui Shftn, "but it pro- 
duces copper. Gold and silver are not valued, and trade is con- 
ducted without duties and levies and without fixed prices." 

Iron ore existed in Mexico, but was unknown to the nar 
tives, while copper was indeed abundant. Trade was carried 
on by means of barter, without a circulating medium, while 
gold and silver were used principally for ornaments. 

"They have no citadels or walled cities ... no soldiers or 
military appliances, and they do not wage war in that kingdom." 

This accords with the view of writers about the pre- Aztec 
peoples of Mexico, for the warlike Nahua tribes (among 
whom the Aztecs were numbered) did not arrive until the 
thirteenth century. 

"They have a species of writing," said Hwui Sh&n. 

It is generally recognized that the Mexicans had a highly 
developed pictographic writing which contained the germ 
of a phonetic writing. A long description was given by 
Hwui Sh&n of the methods of punishment for crime, including 
such features as covering an offender with ashes and leaving 
him to die. This and the other practices ref ored to survived 
in Mexico down to the time of the Spanish conquest. Simi- 
larly, the marriage customs were in part described, with a 
mention of unique features and a statement that the mar- 
riage ceremony resembled that of China, and here too the 
estimate was remarkably true to the facts with regard to 
Mexico. Finally, the story of Hwui Sh&n agrees strangely 
with the Mexican legend of the pious Quetzalcoatl, who 
came from across the seas and introduced many religious 
practices into the country. The likenesses of the old Mexi- 
can religion to early Buddhism are many and striking. 
There is record of a high priest of Mixteca who was called 
"Taysacaa," or "the man of Sacaa." It is at least a curious 
parallel that Buddha himself was called "Sakyar»muni," or 
"the man (hermit) of Sakya." The root "Zaca" (Sakya), 
it may be noticed, occurs frequently in Mexican place nameSi 
e. g. Zacatula, Zacatecas. 

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Much more evidence might be given, but it is perhaps 
ah^ady sufficiently clear that Hwui Sh&n had indeed visited 
Mexico. Furthermore, the five Buddhist missionaries must 
surely have passed along the coast of California on their way 
to Mexico. They or others like them did indeed introduce a 
new religion, including the institution of a monastic system, 
and they reformed the manners and customs of Mexico — 
perhaps also Perti. But the people of the New World re- 
mained of the same race, and in much the same state of back- 
wardness as before, for only stray individuals came from 
the Far East, and not any more or less civilized mass. 

The question arises, why such an enUghtened and numer- 
ous people as the Chinese did not take over this Pacific 
coast land of which they had heard, when because of its 
relatively slight population and lack of advancement it 
might have seemed easy to do so. The history of China 
would undoubtedly provide a satisfactory answer. Atten- 
tion may be called to two interesting facts of that history 
which might have acted as a deterrent. One of them was the 
long survival of feudalism in Chinese life, involving the 
separate rule and separate ambitions of different princes. 
China was unable therefore to develop as a strong unitary 
government, and such loosely-formed empires as China was 
do not ordinarily engage in over-seas undertakings; there is 
too much trouble at home. The second factor was the binding 
conservatism of Chinese tradition, which goes thousands of 
years farther back than that of any other great living peo- 
ple. In the time of Confucius (561-479 B. C.) the Chinese 
were unquestionably many centuries ahead of their contem- 
poraries in western Europe, but by the fifth century A. D. 
the day had already come when they were too contented 
with the greatness of their past, and stratification had set 
in. Confucius himself formulated the moral ideas of the 
Chinese in a way that satisfied them, and they proceeded 
more and more, thenceforth, to turn inward upon them- 
selves. Instead of pursuing natural science and observa- 
tion, they devoted themselves to memorizing ancient books, 
for in them, they thought, the problems of life had been 

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solved. Such a state of mind was not calculated to produce 
a trans-Pacific conquest. It is well to remember, however, 
that for all their advantages, the acquisition of a foot-hold 
on the North American Pacific coast would have been a slow 
and difficult process, involving the necessity for advancing 
bases of supply. China was far away, and the route to Cali- 
f omia was over the water. But, as already pointed out, the 
sea route they would have used was an extraordinarily fav- 
orable one, and China had ahnost unlimited time. The Rus- 
sians went all the way from European Russia to California 
in less than three hundred years. From a point much nearer 
at hand and with as good an opportunity to go by land, 
China had a thousand year chance. But the "peril" never 
passed the bounds of potentiality.^ 

^ The principal baaia for thia chap* party cf Biuidkiat numka from 

ter ia: Afghanistan discovered AtMriea 

Vinins, Edward Payaon. An in the fi^th cenJtury A, D, New 

inglorious CdumSus; or m- York. 1885. 
dmee that HtDui Shan and a 

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If the Chinese had somethmg of an opportunity in an- 
cient times to acquire a foothold in Calif omia and along the 
Pacific coast, the Japanese had a still better opening, all 
things considered, in the early seventeenth century. Japan 
was at that time relatively as powerful with respect to the 
rest of the world as she is today, and would have had very 
little opposition in compassing any designs for an extension 
of her commercial and political influence. Spain alone stood 
in the way from the side of the Americas, and Spain was 
already a declining power, with more enemies in Europe 
than she was able to coi)e with. Furthermore, under the 
great shogun lyeyasu, Japan looked clearly toward the 
east, and made persistent, though fruitless, endeavors to 
follow a policy of peaceful penetration in Mexico through 
the medium of trade. Those who today believe they descry 
a ''Yellow Peril'' might indeed have had occasion for alarm 
had they lived three centuries ago. Fortunately for the 
future of the United States, however, a strange chance 
intervened to turn Japan aside from her projects and to close 
the door of opportunity for more than two hundred years. 
By that time the United States had come into the most 
important part of her heritage along the Pacific, and the 
danger was reduced to less discernible proportions. From 
the standpoint of chronology the Spaniards come next after 
the Chinese, but it has seemed best to deal here, once for all, 
with the Japanese opportunity. 

The early history of Japan is a maze of mythical obscur- 
ity, and it was not until the fifth century that the records 


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which nave come down to us can be termed authentic. The 
middle of the sixth century, however, is a better point of 
departure in the history of Japan, for it was then, in 552, that 
Buddhism was introduced, and with it an advance in culture 
which brought Japan for the first time to the plane of what 
we call civilization. Little need be said here of the next 
thousand years of Japanese history. It was at the close of 
the twelfth century that the shogunate was established, to 
endure for nearly seven centuries. This institution was of the 
same character as that of the "mayors of the palace" in 
early French history, whereby the monarchs were reduced 
to the position of mere "rois faineants" (do-nothing kings), 
with only nominal sovereignty. The Japanese shoguns had 
the function of providing for the defence and tranquility of 
the empire, and were given the entire military resources of 
the state in order to achieve these ends. Thus the emperors 
tended more and more to withdraw from active political life 
and to be looked upon as gods. Meanwhile, feudalism in all 
its evils, with military lords more or less dominant on their 
own estates, was the keynote of national life. Civil war was 
almost incessant. It is particularly to be noted that the 
period from 1333 to 1603 was one of constant strife. During 
this medieval era of Japan, too, the Buddhist priesthood 
became enormously wealthy and powerful, and got wholly 
out of sympathy with the mass of the people. Japan was 
still in a chaotic state when trade relations with a European 
people were established for the first time. This was with the 
Portuguese, who visited Japan in 1542, after which date 
their ships regularly appeared at Japanese ports, introducing 
firearms, among other things, and a knowledge of how to 
use them. In 1549 the great Jesuit missionary Saint Francis 
Xavier came in a Portuguese ship to plant the first seeds of 
the Christian faith in that counlry. He could not have ar- 
rived at a more propitious time, for the people were in a 
spirit of revolt against Buddhism. Other Jesuits followed, 
and in a few years the number of their converts reached 
hundreds of thousands. 

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Attention may here be called to other events tending to 
produce an awakening of Japan to the greatness of her op- 
portunity in the Pacific. In 1565 the Spaniards had made a 
beginning of the conquest of the Philippines, and a few years 
later established themselves at Manila, whence a ship sailed 
each year past Japan and on to Acapulco in Mexico. In 1580 
Philip II of Spain became king of Portugal. Though he agreed 
to keep the dominions of the two crowns separate, this 
brought the Portuguese East Indies andPortuguese activities 
in Japan under a measure of Spanish control. Meanwhile, 
the Dutch had broken away from the government of Philip 
n, and chose to direct their attacks primarily against his 
Portuguese dominions. In 1600 a Dutch ship appeared in 
Japan. On this boat as pilot was a certain Will Adams, 
probably the first Englishman to set foot in Japan. 
Many tales are told about this man. He became a favorite 
of the shogun, and was heaped with wealth, honors, and 
wives, though by his own account he was a virtual prisoner 
in the island kingdom and longed to return to his family 
in Europe. This romance loses some of its flavor when we 
learn that Will Adams was on one occasion sent to the Phil- 
ippines, — and returned to his Japanese wives. Neverthe- 
less, he was an important figure. To the Japanese he was 
able to teach something of the arts of navigation and ship- 
building. To his Dutch friends he was a useful helper, being 
in part responsible for the grant to them of trading privi- 
leges, as a result of which Dutch ships came regularly to 
Japan from 1609 onward. It may be mentioned, too, that 
English ships engaged in commerce with Japan from 1613 
to 1623. 

At the opening of the seventeenth century the Japanese 
were indeed a people to reckon with in the affairs of the Paci- 
fic. In sociial organization and material achievement they 
were not far behind the Europe of their day. For example they 
had schools with courses in ethics, law, history, and mathe- 
matics, and were in the habit of accumulating libraries. 
Feudalism still existed, but it had only recently been stamped 
out in Europe. They knew how to use ordinary firearms and 

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cannon, and were capable of warfare on a large scale. In- 
deed; the Japanese were distinctly a military people. Under 
the great shogun Hideyoshi (1582-1598), later called '^the 
Napoleon of Japan/' an army of nearly 200,000 made an 
invasion of Korea, while many thousand more were held in 
the islands in reserve. Many other large armies were utilized 
in this period for campaigns in Japan. The ability to handle 
these large forces must needs have been great. Furthermore, 
the Japanese were a race of sailors. Fishing has always been 
one of the leading industries of the Japanese people. They 
were also engaging in trade with lands as far away as India, 
and had established colonies in Luz6n, Cochin China, Cam- 
bodia, and Siam. Against this powerful people Spain could 
oppose little more than a corporal's guard of fighting men. 
The total Spanish population of the Philippines was only a 
few hundred, and the soldiers of the entire empire of Spain 
in America did not number far into the thousands, not more 
than enough to combat the hostile Indians along the bor- 
ders. Following the route of the current across the north 
Pacific, it should not have been difficult for the Japan- 
ese to establish advancing bases along the islands and main- 
land coasts until they reached California. Incidentally, all 
Australasia and Oceania presented to them a wide open 
opportunity. It becomes pertinent, then, to trace the work- 
ings of two opposite factors: that which urged the Japanese 
on in their attitude favoring trans-Pacific relations; and that 
which induced them to give up this idea and to shut them- 
selves in, in their island empire, away from communication 
with the outside world. 

Hideyoshi was an imperialist, and though he turned his 
attention more particularly toward Korea did not neglect to 
consider the possibilities of Japanese expansion to European 
possessions in the Pacific. In 1592 he sent an embassy to the 
Philippines to demand the subjection of those islands to his 
rule. Nothing came of this, and it was not until after Hide- 
yoshi's death, in 1598, that further steps were taken. Hide- 
yoshi was succeeded by lyeyasu (though he did not take the 
title of shogun until 1603), who was for several years engaged 

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in consolidating his power in Japan. Nevertheless, in the 
year 1598, when he came into actual authority, he intimated 
very strongly to a Spanish friar that he would be glad to 
have the ships from the Philippines stop in Japan on their 
way to Mexico and engage in trade with the Japanese. In 
1599 he sent an envoy to Manila to press this request. When 
the Spanish governor of the Philippines did not embrace 
the ofifer, due as lyeyasu thought to the depredations of 
Japanese ph-ates, the shogun seized and executed two 
hundred of the buccaneers, and then sent a second envoy 
to Manila. This man arrived in 1602, bearing the shogun's 

"Nothing would satisfy my desires," wrote lyeyasu, "so much 
as to see merchant vessels establishing frequent communication 
between my country and New Spain (Mexico)." 

He referred also to the advantages Spanish vessels would 
have in being able to take shelter in Japanese ports and to 
his wish to see "Japanese vessels making voyages between 
the Kwanto and New Spain." In the same year, a Franciscan 
friar came from Japan to urge acquiescence in lyeyasu's pro- 
posals, on the ground that it would make the Japanese gov- 
ernment more willing than they had recently shown them- 
selves to be to accept Christian teaching in Japan. This 
factor, coupled with several others, induced the governor to 
petition the royal authorities in Spain for permission to 
establish the trade. Several voyages between the Philippines 
and Japan were made in the next few years, but nothing was 
done about opening trade relations between Japan and New 
Spain, though lyeyasu continued to desire it. Will Adams 
was sent to Manila in 1608, and made arrangements whereby 
the annual ship from Manila should touch at a Japanese 
port, but it was not to take Japanese goods to New Spain. 
In 1609, however, Governor Vivero, who was proceeding to 
Mexico after having completed his term of office in the 
Philippines, was wrecked ofif the coast of Japan, and obliged 
to remain in that country imtil the following year. He was 
well treated by lyeyasu, who again spoke of his desire for 

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the trade with New Spain. When the Franciscans joined 
their voices to that of lyeyasu, for they were alarmed lest 
the favor that was being shown to the Protestant Dutch 
might operate to check Catholic missionary endeavor, Vi- 
vero was convinced. So in 1610, when he set sail from Japan, 
he was accompanied by twenty-three Japanese merchants 
and an envoy from lyeyasu to the king of Spain. 

When Vivero reached Mexico he found that an expedition 
was just about to sail toward Japan in search of two mys- 
terious islands said to be ''rich in gold and silver," where- 
fore they came to be known by the names Rica de Oro and 
Rica de Plata. ^ These islands were sought more as a way- 
station at which the ships from the Philippines might stop 
than for the wealth they might contain; the Spanish author- 
ities believed this course would be safer than to utilize a Jap- 
anese port. The commander of the expedition of 161 1 in search 
of Rica de Oro and Rica de Plata was a man who has become 
widely known in the annals of California, for it was none 
other than Sebastidn Vizcaino, who had made a famous voy- 
age to Monterey in the years 1602-1603.* It was now decided 
that Vizcafno should first visit Japan, in order to thank lye- 
yasu for the kindness he had shown Vivero and to take back 
the Japanese merchants. He was also to seek permission to 
make a survey of Japanese ports, on the ground that the 
Spaniards wi^ed to know the best ports in which to take 
shelter in case of a storm. However good a navigator Viz- 
caino may have been, the event proved that he was hardly 
qualified for an ambassadorial task. He embittered the 
Japanese merchants on board his ship by threatening to 

^ It is usually stAted that they had of the mysteries of the Pacific. What 

been first visited by a "Portuguese more natural than that they should 

navigator/' but a remark in Gemelli have travelled, like so many other 

Careri's account of his travels around things the Spaniards expected to 

the world identifies them with the find, "farther north/' Gemelli calls 

Solomon Islands. These islands were the commander Alvaro de Mendoza, 

discovered in 1567 bv Alvaro Men- and gives 1596 as the date, but ac- 

dafia de Neira, who headed another tualhr goes on to describe the voyage 

expedition in 1595 with a view to of Mendafia in 1595. 

taldng possession of the group. This ' The relation of Viscafno to tSte 

time the islands were not found, and Califomias is discussed in Chapter 

for two centuries they remainea one XI. 

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hang some of them unless they refrained from quarreling 
with his sailors* The message that these merchants gave to 
lyeyasu about their mission to Mexico was also not calcu- 
lated to please that ruler. They reported that the Spaniards 
had thanked them, but had gone on to say: 

"Our countries are far apart, and navigation is diflScult. Pray 
do not come again !" 

Nevertheless, Vizcaino was received at the courts of both 
the shogun and the emperor, but gave offence by refusing 
to conform to Japanese court etiquette and by making it 
plain that he considered his king, or even the viceroy of New 
Spain (whom he in fact represented), as superior to the high- 
est authorities in Japan. He was given permission, how- 
ever, to make a siirvey of Japanese ports, which he accord- 
ingly did. Soon afterward, in 1612, he left Japan in order to 
search for Bica de Oro and Rica de Plata. Arrived at the 
place where they were indicated on the map, he searched 
three weeks without finding them, which is not to be won- 
dered at, since they were not there. Forced back by storms, 
Vizcaino returned to Japan, but this time did not get the 
cordial reception which had previously been granted him. 
Many things conduced to this end. Vizcaino had concealed 
the primary object of his voyage, which was the discovery 
of the two rich islands. This became known to the Japanese 
authorities through WUl Adams and the Dutch, who also 
informed them that it was unwise to have allowed the Span- 
iards to survey the Japanese ports, as undoubtedly this was 
done by them with ulterior motives in view. It was the 
Spanish way, they said, to send missionaries to stir up rebel- 
lion and then troops to effect a conquest. lyeyasu was dis- 
pleased, but seems not to have been alarmed. 

Vizcaino, too, had been guilty of inconsistencies in discuss- 
ing the objects of his mission. On one occasion he maligned 
the Dutch, and said that the ''principal business" about which 
he had come to Japan was to find out whether the Japanese 
intended to be friends of the Dutch, for if that people were 
allowed to enter Japan the king of Spain would not consent 

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to have his own subjects trade there. It was well known, too, 
that he represented only the viceroy of New Spain instead of 
the king, as he had made pretence of doing. Nevertheless, 
lyeyasu continued to request the Spaniards to consent to 
the trade with Mexico, though the petitions were pre- 
sented by other hands than Vizcaino's. Tlie latter, xnean- 
while, had procured another ship, since his own had become 
unseaworthy, and departed on this in 1613. He records 
that he was virtually no more than a passenger on this 
vessel, which belong^ to a powerful Japanese lord, and he 
seems to have left it at the first port in New Spain, though 
the ship went on ^to Acapulco, arriving there early in 

The Spanish government had for a time been disposed to 
permit of the trade between Japan and Mexico, and in 1612 
the Council of the Indies formally gave advice to that effect 
to the king. Immediately there was a chorus of objections. 
The Portuguese of Macao feared that it would ruin their 
trade; the Jesuits felt that it might result in giving over 
Japan to the Franciscans from Manila; and the Manila 
merchants, who were profiting by the trade between the 
Philippines and Japan, were inclined to believe that they 
would be injured by the competition of Mexico. These ele- 
ments were able to carry the day. The Japanese trade with 
Manila was saved, but that with Mexico never got fairly 
under way. More might have been accomplished, but for the 
death of lyeyasu in 1616. His successors found reason to 
distrust the Spaniards, with the result that in 1624 all com- 
munications with them were discontinued. Tbe prime cause 
for this cessation of commercial relations was the same as 
that which a few years later caused Japan to close her doors 
to Europeans and shut herself in. This was the aversion of 
the Japanese government for Christianity. 

The early successes of the Portuguese Jesuits in Japan 
have already been alluded to. Much of their good fortune 
was due to the support of the warrior Nobunaga (1573- 
1582), who made use of Christianity to overthrow the then 
much more powerful and more feared Buddhist priesthood. 

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Hideyoshi (1582-1598) seemed at first to favor the new relig- 
ion, but in 1587 he executed a sudden about-face, and or- 
dered the expulsion of the Jesuits from Japan, alleging that 
they had preached things contrary to the law and had "even 
had the audacity to destroy temples" devoted to other relig- 
ions. Back of this there seems to have been a suspicion 
that the Jesuits aimed at an ultimate foreign conquest. It 
was noticed that they were very successful in their attempts 
to convert certain of the powerful nobles, and some thought 
that this was done with a view to promoting civil war, into 
which a foreign government could wedge itself for the sake 
of achieving its own ends. The Jesuits succeeded in evading 
this decree, and nothing serious occurred for another ten 
years. Meanwhile, several Spanish Franciscans from the 
Philippines came to Japan in 1593 as an embassy to the sho- 
gun, but really with the intention of preaching their relig- 
ion, despite the fact that a papal bull of 1585 had grant^ 
the Japanese field to the Jesuits. The Franciscans established 
themselves in Kyoto, and very soon there were evidences of 
dissension between them and the Jesuits. Affairs came to a 
head in 1596. A richly-laden Manila galleon, the San Felipe 
imder Captain Landecho, was lured into a Japanese port in 
that year by a Japanese noble, forced upon the beach, and 
was then claimed by the wily Japanese on the ground that 
all stranded vessels and their cargoes were the property of 
the authorities on whose shores they had been driven. Lan- 
decho endeavored to recover his ship and its precious freight, 
but was unable to do so, since Hideyoshi himself was sharing 
in the loot. Unable to accomplish anything by soft words, 
Landecho at length tried threats, dwelling upon the power 
of the mighty Spanish king, in proof of which he produced a 
map of the world to show his vast domains. Asked how it 
was that so many countries had come to acknowledge the 
sway of one man, Landecho replied : 

''Our kings begin by sendii^ missionaries into the countries 
they wish to conquer. These induce the people to embrace our 
religion, and when they have made considerable progress troops 
are sent to combine with the new Christians. Then our kings have 
not much trouble in accomplishing the rest." 

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This speech made a very different impression from the one 
the imprudent captain expected. Hideyoshi decided that 
the time had come to strike at this faith, which at the least 
seemed likely to produce civil war, from which Japan was 
on the point of emerging after two centuries of conflict. 
The result was the first edict of persecution, in 1597, directed 
against the Spanish Franciscans and their Japanese con- 
verts. Twentyndx of them were mutilated and crucified. 
The Jesuits had not been excluded from the terms of the 
decree, but were protected by their powerful friends, al- 
though the order of 1587 was renewed for their exptilsion 
from the country. 

The death of Hideyoshi in 1598 halted the persecutions. 
As already mentioned lyeyasu was eager for Spanish trade, 
and was therefore ready to tolerate Christian teaching, 
though without approval. Thus the Jesuits and Franciscans 
renewed their labors, the latter having in 1600 secured a 
veto of the exclusive Jesuit right to the field. Later, Augus- 
tinian and Dominican Fathers also came. Many incidents 
occurred which tended to revive the form^ Japanese sus- 
picions. Vizcafno, for example, was unwise enough to re- 
mark that his master, the king of Spain, had no desire for 
trade with Japan; what he really wanted was the extension 
of the Catholic faith. lyeyasu's views were just the opposite. 
He wrote to the viceroy of New Spain in 1612, urging an 
interchange of merchandise, but of Christianity he said: 
''I am persuaded it would not suit us," adding that it would 
be best *'to put an end to the preaching of your doctrine on 
our soil." The persistent quarrels of the Franciscans and 
Jesuits, the imfortunate manner in which Vizcaino con- 
ducted his mission and the interpretation placed upon his 
acts by Will Adams and the Dutch, the reports lyeyasu got 
about Christianity from emissaries he sent to Europe, and 
the discovery of treason in the ranks of Christian Japanese 
nobles in his own personal following at length caused lye- 
yasu to uproot the foreign religion. There were persecutions 
and deportations in 1612, 1613, and especially in 1614, 
though none of the missionaries were put to death. Yet the 

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missionaries evaded deportations, or else made their way 
back after they had been sent out of the country. Hidetada 
(1616-1632), the successor of lyeyasu, carried the persecu- 
tion to greater extremes, and the missionaries now began to 
be tortured and executed, as also were Japanese converts, 
while the Spanish trade was sacrificed as a necessary measure 
to ensure riddance of Christianity. The death of Hidetada 
brought no pause in the persecutions, for his son and sue* 
cessor, lyemitsu, was of the same mind. It is said that from 
the time of the first persecutions down to 1635 no fewer 
than 280,000 Japanese were punished for accepting Chris- 
tianity. In 1636 the Japanese went a step further, and took 
the fatal action which ended their opportunity for expansion 
in the Pacific. 

By the edict of 1636 Japanese Christians were ordered to 
apostatize, and Japanese subjects were forbidden to visit 
Christian lands. To make this latter provision effective it 
was ordered that henceforth no large ships were to be built 
in Japan, thus rendering it difficult for the Japanese to leave 
the country. Furthermore, the death penalty was imposed 
on any Japanese subject who should do so; in case he ever 
returned, no excuse was taken, and it is said that even those 
who had been driven from the islands by storm were exe- 
cuted. The Portuguese and Dutch were allowed under great 
restrictions to continue their trade, but otherwise a policy 
of non-intercourse with the outside world was to be followed. 
This measure produced the great Christian revolt of Shima- 
bara of 1637-1638, but the government put it down and 
massacred the survivors. As the Portuguese were suspected 
of complicity in the revolt, they were forbidden to set foot 
in Japan again. When the Portuguese of Macao sent an em- 
bassy in 1640 to ask for a renewal of their trading privileges, 
the Japanese governor burned their ship, put the four am- 
bassadors and fifty-seven of their attendants to death, and 
gave the following message to the few who were permitted 
to live and return to Macao: 

"Inform the inhabitants of Macao that the Japanese wish to 
receive from them neither gold, nor silver, nor any kind of presents 

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or merchandise, — in a word, absolutely nothing that comes from 
them. You are witnesses that I have caused even the clothing 
of those who were executed yesterday to be burned. Let them do 
the same with respect to us, if they find occasion to do so; we con- 
sent to it without difficulty. Let them think of us no more, just as 
if we were no longer in the world. While the sun warms the earth 
let no Christian be so bold as to come to Japan, and let them all 
know that if King Philip of Spain himself, or the very God of the 
Christians, or even the great Buddha, shall contravene this pro- 
hibition, he will pay for it with his head." 

Thus did the wide-awake Japan of Hideyoshi and lyeyasu 
pass into a profound sleep under their successors, a sleep 
which endured until Commodore Perry entered the Bay of 
Tokio in 1853, and induced the Japanese, much against their 
will, to reopen the country. Thus did Christianity in a left- 
handed manner render a service to those white races which 
now hold lands around the Pacific. Because of their disap- 
proval of Christianity the Japanese deprived themselves of 
an opportunity to be the dominant power in the Pacific, — 
perhaps, also, in its train, a world power beyond anything 
that a Japanese of the present day would even dream about. 
Possibly they would not have availed themselves of their 
chance, but who can deny that most certainly they had it. 
And one of the readiest lands to hand was the old Califor- 
nias, reaching from Cape San Lucas to Alaska, unoccupied 
in most of its extent until the close of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, inviting in its potentialities, and lying along the island- 
studded route of the Japan Current. • 

• The foUcming works were used in 
the preparation of this chapter: 

1. Kennan, George. How Japan 

lost her chance in the Pacific^ in 
The OttOook (for June 27, 
1914), 489-493. 

2. Murakami, Naojiro. JaparCe 

early attempU to eetablish eomr 
mercial relatione with Mexico, 
in The Pacific ocean in history 
(New York. 1917), 467-480. 

3. Murdoch, James, w. collab. of 

Isoh Yamagata. A history of 
Japan during the cerUury of 
eany foreign intercourse (164^ 
1661), Kobe, Japan. 1903. 

4. Nuttall, Zelia. The earliest hie- 

torical relations between Mexico 
and Japan, in University of 
California, Publications [in] 
American archaeology and eth- 
nology (Berkeley. 1904), v. 
IV, no. 1, 1-47. 

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By far the most important of the peoples other than the 
Americans who intervened in California history were the 
Spaniards. Tliey first foimd the land for the white man, 
and endeavored through centuries to occupy it, succeeding 
at length in doing so. Once arrived, they stamped California 
forever with romantic interest, and played a vital part as 
affecting the ultimate destiny of the province. First in the 
list of names of those Spaniards whose achievements directly 
influenced the course of California history was the great 
conquistcuiarf or conqueror, Hernando Cortes. Following the 
discovery of America by Colmnbus in 1492, the Spaniards 
had made settlements in the West Indies and, a little later, 
in Panamd. Some of their navigators had sailed along the 
Atlantic coast of the land we now call Mexico, and one 
of them had applied to it the name ''Nueva Espana," or 
New Spain. In 1519 Cortes landed at Vera Cruz with a tiny 
Spanish army, and after two years effected what we usually 
term the "conquest of Mexico." This amounted to little 
more than the reduction of Mexico City and the route there- 
to from Vera Cruz. It was in 1521, with the definitive occu- 
pation of Mexico City, that the real conquest of New Spain, 
or Mexico, b^an. Mexico City became the principal base 
from which expeditions were sent out in all directions. The 
narrow belt ranging south to Panamd was soon subjected. 
There remained the ever-widening spaces to the north. 
Along one of the lines of the northern advance was Cali- 
fornia, or ''the Califomias" as the Spaniards often called it. 
This included far more than the Alta California of later 
days, which corresponded to the present American state of 


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California. As already pointed out, the Califomias began 
at Cape San Lucas, at the tip of the Baja California penin- 
sula, and ran indefinitely northward. It was toward this 
elongated California, or ''Califomias/' that the Spaniards 
for many years directed their attention. 

After native resistance had been overcome at Mexico City 
in 1521, the Spaniards pushed westward, and by 1522 had 
already reached the Pacific coast in the province of Micho- 
ac^, where Cort69 formed a settlement at Zacatula. In 
three years he fought his way across a continent, a conti- 
nent which it took the Anglo-Saxon successors of John 
Cabot three centuries to traverse. To be sure, the cases 
were by no means parallel in their difficulties, but it helps 
one to understand the tremendous energy and force which 
the Spaniards brought to their conquests, when these are 
compared to the much slower advance of their English rivals. 
Cort69 at this time enjoyed a power which many a so-called 
absolute monarch might have envied. He was governor, 
captain-general, and chief justice of New Spain, and, be- 
sides, had full authority to make conquests as he pleased. 
He was indeed subject to the king of Spain, but this control 
was somewhat shadowy, since he did not need to get pre- 
liminary royal assent to any measures he might take. Ene- 
mies he had, and these were for several years the principal 
check on his effective action. Arrived at Zacatula, Cortfe 
prepared to make explorations of the unknown coasts to the 
north. To appreciate the objects he had in mind it will first 
be necessary to consider contemporary ideas of the New 

In the time of Coliunbus and- for years afterward many 
people believed that the voyagers of 1492 had discovered 
merely a new route to the already known lands of eastern 
Asia. What we now call the West Indies were dimly identi- 
fied with the islands of Japan, and the near-by main- 
land was held to be Asia. Two centuries before, an Italian 
named Marco Polo had crossed Asia to China, where he 
lived for a number of years, and was highly r^arded, — so 

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much so that the Chinese eventually made him a God.^ At 
length he returned to Europe, and wrote an account of the 
far eastern world. Among other matters he told of the re- 
putedly wealthy island of "Cipango" (Japan) and of a strait 
to the south of China whence men could proceed to India and 
in that way back to Europe. Marco Polo's account was con- 
firmed in its essentials by other travelers, — for example, by 
the Englishman Mandeville, who crossed Asia early in the 
fourteenth century. 

It was logical to suppose that Colimibus had come upon 
these distant lands which Europeans had long known, and 
indeed one has only to look at the map to see that the eastern 
coasts of Asia and North America roughly correspond. Nat- 
urally, there began at once a search for the strait which 
should lead to the riches of India. Men looked for it at Pan- 
amd, where indeed the land narrows, and the ocean was soon 
found on the other side, but the strait eluded them. When 
they sought it in the south they found that South America 
was of continental proportions. It was generally known 
that there were large islands south of the straits between 
China and India, but the existence of a continent was un- 
suspected. South America was therefore styled the "New 
World," while North America did not share in this appella- 
tion until much later. The discovery of the Strait of Ma- 
gellan in 1520 did not satisfy the demand for the traditionally 
known waterway. According to the information supplied by 
Marco Polo, that was much farther north. Central America 
was soon traversed, but no strait was foimd. Men then be- 
gan to believe that North America might be a southeast- 
ward projection from Asia, of which there was also early 
evidence, based on the actual fact of the peninsula of Kam- 
chatka. To be sure, nobody had had any idea of the vastness 
of its size, but North America was for a long time not re- 
garded as unusually large. Opinion was general among the 
Spaniards that it would prove to be little wider than it was 

1 His statue was the only bearded Hundred Gods, at Canton, China, 
deity in the Temple of Tso Sing, pop- This temple recently burned down- 
ularly kixown as that of the Five 

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at the place where they had crossed it in New Spain and that 
a comparatively short voyage to the north would take them 
to Asia. It will be recalled, too, that this idea persisted among 
the English colonists of the seventeenth century, as witness 
their (imder the circumstances) string-like grants ''from sea 
to sea." After Magellan's long voyage across the Pacific had 
demonstrated that Asia was far away, men gradually b^an 
to realize that North America was a hitherto unknown con- 
tinent. Yet, — such is the strength of an idea, once people 
become possessed of it, — ^a belief in some of the geographical 
notions which depended on their earUer conception of North 
America as Asia was still maintained, although there was no 
longer any necessary reason for doing so. Most persistent 
of all these ideas was the belief in the existence of a strait. 
Since it was certainly not in the south, then, obviously, 
people thought, it must be in the north, — always just a little 
farther than the last explorer had gone. 

People were tremendously interested in finding the short- 
est route to the rich lands of Asia and the Indies, but there 
were many remarkable things besides that which they hoped 
and even expected to come upon. Life in Europe in the Mid- 
dle Ages had been comparatively stagnant and circum- 
scribed, when there began to occur a series of remarkable 
happenings which broadened men's horizons and fired their 
imaginations. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries men 
left their homes in western Europe to take part in the Cru- 
sades. Trade, wealth, and city life developed; inventions 
like printing, gimpowder, and the compass offered incal- 
culably great opportunities for diversification of existing 
conditions; and the Renaissance brought with it not only a 
revival of ancient learning but also a receptivity of mind 
such as the world had not known since the Periclean Age. 
Then came the discovery of America, which (even while it 
was still considered to be Asia) afforded an extraordinary 
stimulus to European imaginations, and this was accentuated 
after CortAa and Pizarro revealed by their spectacular con- 
quests that the New World was well stocked with riches. 
Men talked of the wonderful things about which the an- 

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cients had written and of those which Marco Polo and other 
travelers had seen. Meanwhile the fifteenth and sixteenth 
century novel of chivalry had caught and fixed this expec- 
tant credulity in the popular mind. Men began to believe 
that the fantastic adventures of the wandering knights, who 
single-handed performed the most extraordinary feats of 
valor and met with such marvelous experiences, might 
almost be dupUcated in real life. Europe was far from hav- 
ing cast off its medieval cloak, however, in the pursuit of 
things that were new. It was still in the grip of tradition and 
the sanction of old belief. What they sought in the New 
World was not so much that which was new, but rather those 
old but none the less wonderful things about which their an- 
cient and medieval masters had taught them. 

It was no wonder that the Spaniards expected to find rich 
cities to plimder, especially after their conquests in Mexico 
and Peni had given them concrete proofs of their existence. 
These lands, however, were as nothing in their wealth to the 
others they hoped to find. Men had known of "The Seven 
Cities'' before they had ever heard of America, and now 
these mysterious municipalities located themselves at large 
in the New World, until at length they were pinned down to 
the wretched Moqui pueblos of New Mexico. There also 
developed the story of Quivira, that great and strange 
kingdom which so many had heard of or even claimed to 
have seen, but which nobody in fact ever found. If Ponce de 
Le6n sought a fountain of youth, it was not that he was a 
simpleton, but because men had beUeved in such a thing for 
centuries, and now that so many of the ancient marvels had 
been revealed, why not also a fountain of youth? Great 
masses — or even mountains — of gold, islands of pearls, and 
rivers of pitch were quite in the normal course of expecta- 
tion, — and Potosf and other rich mines eventually provided 
them with the first-named. From time immemorial, too, 
there had been stories of Amazon islands, — ^where nobody 
dwelt but women, — and not less sanctioned by authority 
was the story of the gilded man, whose kingdom was so rich 
that his people painted him with gold in the morning and 

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washed him off at night. Then there was the Terrestrial 
Paradise, which had found a place on ancient maps, and was 
looked for in America by the Spaniards of the early sixteenth 
century. In fine, those things which people now would con- 
sider supernatural marvels were quite the expected thing 
among the half-medieval, half-modem conquerors who set 
foot in the two Americas, some four centuries ago. 

Cort69, like other men of his day, had all of these ideas 
in mind. He was eager to ascertain the truth with r^ard 
to the geography of North America, not from any desire for 
the advancement of science and knowledge, but because he 
wished to improve his material fortunes. In particular, he 
desired to find the mysterious and elusive strait, in the hope 
that it might prove to be the shortest route from Europe 
to the wealth of the Far East. His letters also tell of Amazon 
islands, mountains of gold, and populous cities — ^just a few 
days' journey farther on. Finally, he hoped to acquire new 
kingdoms for his sovereign and fresh honors as well as 
wealth for himself. 

Yet it was ten years before CortAa was able to send out his 
first expedition to the north. Many things detained him. 
He had to set up a new government, reward his companions 
with grants of land and Indian serfs, build a superb capital 
at Mexico City, suppress native revolts and extend his con- 
quests to meet those of the Spaniards pressing north from 
Panamd, and, not least of all, he had to encounter the de- 
termined hostihty of his many and powerful personal ene- 
mies. He was accused of aiming at independence, and a 
royal audiencia (or body of men whose principal function 
was to act as a high court of justice, but vested also with 
other functions of the civil power) was established as a check 
on his authority. Cortfe himself went to Spain in 1528 to 
plead his case in person, returning trimnphant in 1530. 

Meanwhile, Cortfe had not been idle along the Pacific 
coast. With the founding of a Spanish port at Zacatula in 
1522, he had started to build four ships. Work was unar 
voidably very slow, however. Aside from the difficulty of 
maintaining the settlement itself, it was necessary to bring 

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everything but timber to the place. There was not so much 
as a nail in all New Spain, and there were no skilled work- 
men and no well developed methods of transportation to 
take the many essential things to Zacatula where they were 
wanted. When matters were progressing somewhat, there 
was a fire which burned the warehouse, and a fresh start had 
to be made. Nevertheless, after four years' time, his ships 
were ready in 1526 for the long-planned voyage, when or- 
ders came to send them across the Pacific to the Moluccas 
where a Spanish fleet was reported to be in need of relief. 
Accordingly, in 1527, Cortfe' fleet was despatched to the far 
southwest, and the northwest voyage was postponed. CortAs' 
facilities had now so greatly improved that he had five more 
ships well on the way to completion in 1528 at the time he 
left for Spain. Thereupon the hostile attdienda caused the 
work to be stopped, and the hulks were left to decay. Noth- 
ing daimted, c3ort^ started to build four more in 1532. His 
enemies trumped up charges against him, with a view to 
checking his project, but a new atuUencia temporarily sided 
with him, and the boats were soon gotten ready. 

Cortfe' firat expedition was composed of two ships and 
their crews, under the command of Diego Hurtado de Men- 
doza. This was regarded as a preliminary t% a later and 
greater expedition. Hurtado was merely to seek information 
and not to make any conquests. He was to sail along the 
coast, except when passing Nueva Galicia, which was ruled 
by Cortfe' great enemy Guzman, who had only recently 
jconquered it. In 1532 Hurtado started up the coast. Meet- 
ing with difficulties he put in to shore within Guzmin's 
realm, but that individual forbade him to take on water 
and supplies or even to make repairs. Going to sea again 
Hurtado found himself confronted by a mutiny of his 
sailors, some of whom transferred to the other ship with a 
view to returning. That ship was wrecked in the Bay of 
Banderas (in Tepic), and all but two or three of the men 
were killed by the Indians, while Guzm^ seized the wreck. 
Meanwhile, Hurtado sailed on, — and some say that neither 
he nor his ship was ever heard of again. According to others 

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he and all his men were killed by the Indians of the River 
Fuerte in Sinaloa; this story was reported by the Indians. 
Decidedly, the voyage had been a failure. Not only were 
no marvelous things discovered, but also the expedition 
had been a total loss. Cort^ was not discouraged, how- 
ever, and blamed his misfortune to Guzman's treatment of 
Hurtado. At least, he had acquired more accurate knowl- 
edge of the difficulties to be encoimtered and information 
about the coasts. Furthermore, the expedition had discov- 
ered the Tres Marias Islands, not far beyond which was the 
beginning of the Calif omias. 

In 1533-1534 came the second sea expedition under the 
auspices of Cortfe in his endeavors to pierce the mysteries 
of the north. Diego Becerra was in command, while Hernan- 
do de Grijalva had charge of the second of the two ships. 
The latter almost at once parted company with Becerra's 
ship, presumably under the stress of bad weather, and never 
again rejoined it. It is possible that he wished to gain riches 
and glory on his own account, through the discovery of the 
marvelous things Cortes had in mind, rather than receive 
his relatively slight portion as a result of Becerra's achieve- 
ments; the example of Cortfe, who had invaded New Spain 
against the orders of the governor of Cuba, his superior 
officer, was frequently followed by the adventurous leaders 
of the sixteenth century. The discovery of the (since called) 
Revilla Gigedo Islands, some three himdred miles due south 
from Baja California, was the principal result of his voyage. 
Meanwhile, Becerra, who is described as an arbitrary and 
disagreeable man, was put to death by his crew, and the 
first pilot, Fortiln Jim^ez, who had been privy to the mur- 
der, now took command. Jim^ez proceeded with the voyage 
and came at length to a bay in what he believed to be an 
island. Here, he and his men landed, but presently were set 
upon by the Indians, who killed Jimenez and twenty others. 
T^ie few who escaped made their way back to Nueva Gali- 
cia. There Guzmdn again showed his hand, seizing the boat 
with a view to making explorations himself. Jimenez had 
in fact entered the Bay of La Paz in Baja California, being 

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the first white man, so far as is known, ever to have set foot 
in the Calif omias. The records are so obscure, however, that 
it is not certain whether he was there late in 1533 or early in 
1534. Though this eiqpedition had ended in almost as great 
a disaster as that of 1532, it did contribute something toward 
Spanish projects of northwestward advance. Jimenez's men 
brought back reports about the existence of at least one 
marvel in the newly-discovered land. They told of the 
wealth of the region in pearls, — perhaps even brought some 
with them, since the story accorded with the facts. Here 
then was one of the '^islands of pearls" which the Spaniards 
had expected to find, and here was a definite and clearly 
recognizable incentive for a fresh voyage. 

Cort&t was now more eager than ever for the project. He 
sought to restrain Guzmin from making a voyage, and pro- 
cured a decree of the audienda requiring Guzm^ to return 
the stolen ship, but that body also forbade Cort&t to make 
an expedition. Gort^ protested that this decision was 
against his right to make conquests as he chose. When the 
aitdiencia did not yield he resolved to go anyway and to lead 
the expedition himself. The moment that this annoimce- 
ment got abroad, volunteers began to pour in, — such was 
CoTt4a' reputation as a conqueror and finder of loot. Soon, 
CoTt6a had more men than he could use, and in the spring of 
1535 set sail with three vessels. On May 3 he entered the 
Bay of La Paz, and named that and the island, as he believed 
the land to be, ''Santa Gruz,'' the day on the religious calen- 
dar that he had made his appearance there. Gort^ at once 
b^an to establish a settlement, but he was ahready face to 
face with the difficulties white men always have in main- 
taining themselves in an undeveloped land. Supplies were 
short; so two of the ships were twice sent back for more 
and for the rest of Gortfe' volimteers, many of whom he had 
been obliged to leave behind. On the second of these voy- 
ages one of the vessels was wrecked, and the crew and the 
colonists returned to Mexico. Gort^ and Grijalva now took 
the remaining two vessels, and went to get more supplies. 
On the return to Baja Galifomia they encountered yet an- 

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other of the problems which was for centuries to be an im. 
portant factor in the history of the Calif omias. The severe 
storms which are so frequent in the Gulf of California were 
such at this time that Grijalva was unable to get back at all, 
while Cort^ (whose pilot was killed as the result of a fall) 
was obliged to take the wheel himself in order to make his 
way across the gulf. Upon his arrival at La Paz he found 
that twenty-three men had died of starvation. The colony 
could not be maintained with the one vessel Cort& now had, 
and the land itself was unable to provide for the needs of 
white men; so Cort^ retiuned to New Spain, to see whether 
he might procure relief. Eventually, he seems to have given 
up the idea, and perhaps toward the end of 1536 sent ships to 
take away the surviving colonists. Clearly the result had 
been disappointing, though in the light of conditions as they 
were, failure was almost inevitable. 

Cort^ might possibly have given up his efforts at this 
point, but for the happening, in 1536, of a spectacular event. 
His enemy, Guzm^, had been deprived of his post, but 
Cortes' powers were also now greatly restricted as a result of 
the appointment of a viceroy of New Spain. Mendoza, the 
first viceroy, had reached Mexico City in 1535, and hence- 
forth was Cortds' principal rival in northward conquests. 
The spectacular event referred to was the arrival at Culia- 
cdn, Sinaloa (then the farthest north of the Spanish settle- 
ments along the Pacific coast), of Alvar Ntifiez Cabeza de 
Vaca. Ntifiez, or Cabeza de Vaca as he is more often called, 
had been a member of the ill-fated Narv^z expedition, 
which had landed in Florida in 1528 and had gone utterly to 
pieces. NMez made his way westward, and became a slave 
of the Indians on an island off the coast of Texas. Eventually 
he escaped, and wandered across the continent until at 
length he reached Culiacdn. His story would in any event 
have created great interest, but it became especially signi- 
ficant when he told of the great kingdom of Quivira and the 
Seven Cities of Cfbola not far beyond where he had passed; 
he himself had not seen them, but he had heard many tales 
about them. This story gave an extraordinary stimulus to 

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Spanish exploration, especially since it corresponded so 
exactly with what the Spaniards had long expected to find 
in the north. As soon as the viceroy was able to get a respite 
from other pressing affairs he prepared to take advantage of 
this information. In 1539 he sent Marcos de Niza, a Fran- 
ciscan friar, to investigate the truth of Ntifiez's tale. Friar 
Marcos, accompanied by the negro Estevanico (who had 
made the journey with Ntifiez) and by some Indians, 
crossed Sonora and Arizona to the vicinity of the Moqui 
pueblos of New Mexico. There indeed he saw Cibola, but 
from a distance, for the Indians had been hostile and had 
killed Estevanico. But Cibola to Friar Marcos' eyes seemed 
something very different from what it actually was. To him 
it looked larger than Mexico City, though reputed to be the 
smallest city of the famous seven. The actual poverty of 
this Moqui town caused men of a later day to regard Friar 
Marcos as a liar or at least as a victim of a wild imagina- 
tion. Something of the latter may be true, but, surely, his 
report was what many another might have made in that 
credulous age. At any rate, his story caused a tremendous stu 
in all New Spain. The viceroy at once got ready the famous 
exi)editions (of which, later) that penetrated to New Mexico 
and Kansas, one branch of which was the sea-expedition of 
Hernando de Alarc6n, in 1540, up the Gulf of California. It 
is now time to return to Cortfe. 

Cortfe' hopes were revived, if indeed he had ever given 
them up, by the stories of Ntifiez, and when he learned that 
the viceroy was sending out Friar Marcos to get informa- 
tion he protested vigorously, asserting his own rights to 
make the conquests in the north. Characteristically, how- 
ever, he did not wait for a decision upon his claims, but 
resolved to be beforehand in the discoveries. So in July 1539 
he sent out three vessels, of respectively 120, 35, and 20 tons, 
under the command of Francisco de UUoa. The smallest 
ship was soon wrecked, but the others went up the coast to 
the head of the gulf, and were the first to discover that 
"Santa Cruz," or Baja California, was not an island but a 
peninsula. Returning down the gulf, TJUoa rounded the pen- 

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insula, and started up the western coast. He seems to have 
entered Magdalena Bay, and to have gone on to Cerros Is- 
land in 28'' latitude, at or near which he made a stay of three 
months. Several attempts were made to go farther north, 
but the best Ulloa could do was to reach a point in about 
29"" which became known to contemporary map-makers as 
the Cabo del Engafio (Cape Disappointment). In April 1540 
one of the ships was sent back to report, and made the return 
in safety. Ulloa himself in the 35 ton vessel remained to 
carry on the expedition, — and what became of him is not 
known. No doubt he and his ship, with all on board, were 
one of the many sacrifices, by wreck or other disaster, in the 
attempts of the Spaniards to reach the land of gold — ^^'far- 
ther north.'' 

Cort^ had now contributed greatly to the movements 
which were to bring about the eventual occupation of the 
Califomias, though his efforts had been a losing venture for 
himself. Furthermore, he had been stripped of much of the 
authority he had originally possessed, wherefore he sailed to 
Spain in 1540 to seek redress. This ended Cortes' activities 
not only in the Califomias but also in New Spain, for he 
never retiuned. In 1547 he died. Thus passed the first of 
the great Spanish explorers who endeavored to make their 
way to the Califomias and to penetrate the mysteries of the 

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One of the most prized possessions of present-day Cali- 
fomians is the beautiful and beloved name of the state, a 
name which has a lure that has carried its fame perhaps 
farther than that of any other state in the Union.* Yet the 
origin and application of the name were for a long time some- 
thing of a mystery, and neither one nor the other is fully 
clear yet. California was not named for a member of the 
royal family in the homeland of the conquerors, as hap- 
pened in the case of Virginia (for Elizabeth, the Virgin 
Queen), Carolina (for King Charles II), Maryland, Geor- 
gia, and Louisiana Unlike Massachusetts, Connecticut, 
Texas, and others, too, it was not an Indian word or named 
for an Indian tribe. This being recognized, people for many 
years, centuries after the name was first applied, indulged 
in guesses as to both the origin and appUcation, for which 
the evidence seemed to have disappeared. Those conjec- 
tures are now mere historical curiosities, illustrations in the 
extreme of the propensity of men to imagine the missing link 
in a chain of evidence, but as one hears these theories ad- 
vanced by some even to the present day, it may be worth 
while to notice them. Most frequent among them has been 
the suggestion of a derivation from two Latin words "Cal- 
ida fomax" (hot furnace). Baja California might well have 
seemed to Cort^ and his men as hot as a furnace, it is said, 
or the name might also have occurred to them in con- 
nection with the Indian temescal, or sweat-house, under- 
ground. Similarly, the Catalan word "Califomo" (hot oven) 

^During two years' travel in Europe the other American states could be 
the writer found that California was called by name, 
generally known, but that few of 


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has been brought forward. '^Cal y fomo" (Ume and furnace, 
or lune-kihi) provides another guess, though ''cal" is Spanish 
and ''fomo" Catalan, but it is doubtful whether the Indians 
of Baja California had houses made of mortar in early times, 
thus making use of lime-kilns, though later they came to 
have them. Another view was that it sprang from "Colo- 
f6n'' (resin), on the ground that the Spaniards might have 
called out that word when they saw the resinous pine trees 
and decided to apply it as a name, perhaps as "Colofonia," 
gradually corrupting it to "California." Another writer 
suggested "Cala fornix," based on the Spanish word for 
"cove" and the Latin for "vault," in that there is an arch 
under a rock in the bay, or cove, at one place where Cortfe 
and his men landed in Baja California. These are a few 
theories out of many, all of which were barren guesses, un- 
sustained by a shred of evidence. It may be said that it was 
not the habit of Spanish explorers to assign Latin names, 
or to mix Spanish with Latin or with Catalan in such a 
matter. A more likely suggestion was that the Spaniards 
mi^t have misunderstood some Indian word and applied it 
as a name, but this was a mere guess. 

To Edward Everett Hale, distinguished divine and man 
of letters, is due the clearing away of the greater part of the 
cobwebs surrounding the origin of the name. In 1862 he 
chanced upon an old Spanish novel entitled Las sergaa de 
Esplandidn (The deeds of Esplandito), and found that it 
referred to a strange and romantic island "California." He 
at once jumped to the conclusion that this must have been 
the source whence the discoverers procured the name. 
Other men before his time knew of the "California" of the 
Sergas, — ^for example, the celebrated historian of Spanish 
literature George Ticknor, who refers to the word in a volume 
that he published in 1849, — ^but neither he nor anybody 
else seems to have thought of its connection with the Amer- 
ican state of the same name, or, if they did so, they do not 
seem to have recorded their impressions. 

T^eSergMdeEsplandidnvros one of those fantastic novels 
of chivalry which so accurately represented, and in tmn in- 

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fluenced, the minds of Europeans in the period of transition 
from medieval to modem times. It was a sequel to one of 
the earliest and imdoubtedly the greatest of these books, the 
Amadis de Oaula (Amadfs of Gaul) of the Portuguese Vasco 
de Lobeira. The Amadis was written at about the opening 
of the fifteenth century or late in the fourteenth; Lobeira, 
the author, died in 1403. The book had a most extraordinary 
vogue, being indeed one of the most popular works of aU 
time. It was translated into every important European 
tongue, and the mighty and heroic Amadis of the novel be- 
came ahnost a household god; it is said that it was unsafe to 
refer slightingly to Amadis, for some excited admirer might 
take it upon himself to avenge this hero of romance. The 
novel became even more popular, perhaps, after the inven- 
tion of printing, since its distribution was of course very 
greatly facilitated. Between 1492 and 1504 Garcf Ord6fiez 
deMontalvo completed a translation of the work into Span- 
ish in four volumes, and attached to it a fifth, written by 
himself, the Sergaa de Esplandidn. The original date of 
publication is not clear, but a copy of the year 1508 exists 
in the British Museum, and there is a reference to an edition 
of 1498. There were a number of re-issues, — ^for example, in 
1519, 1521, 1525, and 1526, years contemporaneous with 
Cortfe' early activities in New Spain. 

In accord with the literary practices of his day Ord6fiez de 
Montalvo pretended that he was merely translating from 
the Greek a manuscript of the ''Gran Maestro Elisabat, who 
saw and took part in what he relates.'^ The story hinges on 
a supposed siege of Constantinople, when all the forces of 
paganism launched an attack against the emperor and his 
Christian allies in the city. In the midst of the siege the 
pagans received unexpected succor from Queen Calafia of 
the island California. Here is the story as it appears in the 

"I wish that you should now know of a matter so very strange 
that neither in writings nor from the memory of people is it possible 
to discover how on the following day the city was on the point of 
being lost and how in that moment of peril it was saved. Know 

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ye that at the right hand of the Indies there is an island named 
California, very close to that part of the Terrestrial Paradise, 
which was inhabited by black women, without a single man 
among them, and that they lived in the manner of Amazons. They 
were robust of body, with strong and passionate hearts and great 
virtues. The island itself is one of the wildest in the world on ao- 
coimt of the bold and craggy rocks. Their weapons were all made of 
gold . • . The island everywhere aboimds with gold and precious 
stones, and upon it no other metal was foimd. They lived in caves 
well excavated. They had many ships with which they sailed to 
other coasts to make forays, and the men whom they took as pris- 
oners they killed ... In this island, named California, there are 
manyeriffins . • • In no other part of the world can they be found. 
. . . fAnd] there ruled over that island of California a queen of 
majestic proportions, more beautiful than all others, and in the 
very vigor of her womanhood. She was desirous of accomplishing 
great deeds, she was valiant and courageous and ardent with a 
brave heart, and had ambitions to execute nobler actions than had 
been performed by any other ruler/' 

The upshot was that Calaf fa, the queen of the island, re- 
solved to lead her women to the war against the Christians. 
She is excused for this decision on the ground that she ''did 
not understand what Christians were/' Therefore she and 
her best warriors set out in their ships, taking with them 
five hundred griffins, which were in the habit of being "fed 
upon the men captured in battle/' Arrived at Constanti- 
nople, she found that the pagan cause was going badly; so 
she sought permission to make the attack alone with her 
forces on the following day, adding that the pagans would 
then "see a battle, the strangest ever seen and never before 
dreamed of." The next day the dusky Califomians advanced 
to the fray, and at the proper moment let loose the griffins. 
Thereupon there was great carnage among the Christians, 
many of whom were seized and eaten by these birds, while 
others were carried into the air and allowed to fall, being 
dashed to pieces. The arrows of the Christians and blows 
of swords and lances were not sufficient to wound these 
thick-feathered tough-bodied creatures of the air. Then 
Calaffa called on the exulting pagans to charge and 
complete the victory. But here disaster befell, for the 

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"not knowing friend from foe, seized the Turks in the same man-* 
ner that they had seized the Christians, and soaring high in the 
air with them let them drop to earth, and thus killed every one of 

This turned victory into defeat, and "When this was seen 
by Queen Calaf fa she was sad in a grand manner/^ The grif- 
fins were called off, and Calaf fa and her Amazons made a 
vigorous attack. Though the queen performed prodigies of 
valor, she was imable to take the city. Thereupon Calaffa 
joined with Radiaro, the sultan of Liquia, in a challenge to 
the old hero Amadfs de Gaula and to his son Esplandi^, 
great emulator of his father's deeds. A ''handsome black 
maiden" was sent to the Christian camp, and was cour- 
teously received. Amadls accepted the challenge, and agreed 
that Calaffa and the sultan might name the weapons. But 
the envoy had something more than this message to bring 
back. She declared that all the Christian leaders were very 
beautiful to look upon, but that none of them compared in 
this respect with the noble Esplandidn. 

Calaffa now displayed some very human traits. She 
yearned to see and talk with Esplandidn, and therefore de- 
cided to pay a visit herself to the Christian headquarters. 
All night she puzzled over the momentous question whether 
she should go in military attire or simply as a woman. The 
woman in her won, and she prepared to array herself in a 
way to make an impression. Not only did she dress her- 
self in rich robes covered with gold and precious stones, but 
she also rode a steed which was truly "more marvelous than 
had ever been seen" and calculated to attract notice any- 
where. Arrived at her destination she too fell a victim to the 
charms of the beauteous Esplandidn, but maintained suf- 
ficient recollection of her pmported errand to arrange the 
terms of the combat. Esplandidn did not return her admir- 
ation, for he already had a sweetheart in the person of the 
emperor's daughter (Leonorina), and was well content. 

In due time the double duel took place. Esplandi^, be- 
twixt looks at his beloved fiancee (who viewed the affair 
from a convenient tower) and attention to the fight, over- 

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came Radiaro. Meanwhile, Calaffa was raining blows on 
Amadls, but he caught them on his shield or avoided them 
altogether. Amadfs was too much of a gentleman to draw 
his sword against a lady, but did not disdain to take a broken 
piece of her own lance and deal her such blows that he 
knocked her senseless. Presently the queen got up and pro- 
tested against his trying to conquer her "with a club." The 
battle was resumed, and once more did Amadfs do telling 
execution with his lance and once more Calaffa was stunned. 
By this time the Christian hero had contrived to strip the 
queen of her shield and helmet, and she had also dropped 
her sword. So Calaffa was constrained to yield. 

There is more to the story, but the rest is of less interest. 
Calaffa became a prisoner of the Christians, and was given 
to Leonorina. Thus, she saw much of that lady's fianc6, and 
fell desperately in love with him. Not, however, imtil he had 
already married Leonorina did she make him aware of the 
fact, and then she declared herself to him. Esplandidn was 
now generous in the extreme. He could not marry her him- 
self; so he gave her his cousin Talanque, while another 
cousin married Calaffa's sister. The marriages took place 
in Christian form, Calaffa and all her Amazons became 
Christians, the pagans were defeated, and the now pious 
Calaffa gave her island California, with all its gold and pre- 
cious stones, to the Christians. And thus did California 
cease to be a land of Amazons only. 

Several matters in this account are worthy of comment. 
Much of the story represents the oft-reiterated recording of 
ancient traditions. The Amazons, griffins, and the Terres- 
trial Paradise are of most ancient lineage. The last-named 
was the Garden of Eden of the Old Testament, which medi- 
eval and early modem Europeans believed to be definitely 
and recognizably located on the map. Many such things 
were sought by the early Spanish explorers in the Americas, 
and it seems probable that the accounts of Columbus are 
what occasioned the insertion of the tale about Calaffa and 
the Califomias in the Sergas. In a report of 1493 about his 
first voyage Columbus told of an isk^d on the way to the 

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Indies where women alone lived, being visited occasionally 
by men from other parts. These women were war-like, mak- 
ing use of the bow and arrow. It is hardly necessary to add 
that Columbus did not see these women; he had merely 
heard of them. Again, in 1498 when Columbus was sailing 
along the coast of Venezuela, still laboring under the de- 
lusion that he was in Asiatic waters, he believed that he was 
very near the Terrestrial Paradise, and so reported. Other 
men of the same time told similar stories. The fact that the 
Calaf fa tale is not an intrinsic part of the Sergaa^ but merely 
thrust in as an extra, renders it all the more likely that the 
author was influenced by the accounts of Columbus' voyage, 
which had fired men's imaginations with what seemed to be 
a rediscovery of islands and peoples that Europeans had 
long known traditionally. Incidentally, it may be remarked 
that even the griffins were located eventually in America. 
In 1647 one Bisselius published a work in which a descrip- 
tion of the western coast of North America was given. In 
that somewhat terrifying r^on there were many wild ani- 
mals, including griffins, ''and this is not a fable but the 
truth." Thus did the griffins return to their homeland of the 
Sergasj in California. One thing more: It can at least hardly 
fail to attract attention that the beautiful Calaffa and her 
charming maidens were of suspiciously African descent. 
It would seem that the color line was not very rigidly 
drawn, some four centuries ago, for the author everywhere 
refers to the lovely Califomians in terms of the highest ap- 
proval, and does not disdain to marry them in the end to 
white princes of the blood royal. 

The sequel provided by Ord6fiez de Montalvo was by no 
means the only one to the adventures of Amadfe. In all 
there were fourteen volumes in the series. Calaffa and the 
Califomians reappear in book seven, entitled: Lisuarle de 
Greda y Peri&n de Gaula. In that volume the siege of Con- 
stantinople still rages, but this time Calaffa fights on the side 
of the Christians. There were a number of editions of this 
book^ at least one of which appeared as early as 1514, 

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There is hardly room for a doubt that Cort^ and his men 
were familiar with the story of the island California* All 
Europe had nearly gone mad over the romances of chivalry, 
and the Spaniards in particular were looking for the same 
wonderful experiences in the Americas as the wandering 
knights were wont to have in the realm of fancy. There are 
references in the work by Bemal Dfaz, one of the historians 
of the conquest of New Spain, to incidents of the Amadia 
de Gaula. For example, in telling of the towns that he and 
the other soldiers of Cortes saw he said : "We were amazed, 
and said it was like the enchantments they tell of in the 
legend of Amadis/' Also, one of the soldiers was nicknamed 
Agrayes, because he was supposed to res^nble a character 
of that name in Amadis de Gaula. Since the Sergas de 
Esplandidn was attached to the Amadia it could hardly 
have escaped notice, besides which it was popular on its own 
account, though much inferior to Lobeira's work. It is inter- 
esting to note Cervantes' opinion of it in the Don Quixote. 
When the curate and the barber were overhauling the library 
of Don Quixote in order to destroy the books which had so 
shaken their friend's mind, they came across the Amadis 
and the Esplandidn. The former was saved as the best of 
its kind, but the latter was the first to go to the bonfire. 
"Verily," said the curate, "the goodness of the father shall 
not avail the son.'' 

Granted that the name was suggested to the discoverers of 
the Califomias from the romance of the Sergas de EspUm^ 
didn the question arises: Where did Ord6fiez de Montalvo 
get it? There have been many guesses on this point similar 
to those formerly made about the origin of the word in the 
minds of the conquerors. One of these is that the author 
derived it from the Greek xiXXoa, or xaXXl-, and Spvta, the 
two together meaning "beautiful bird" — ^for the griffins! 
Another simnises a derivation from the Arabic word "KaU- 
fat," meaning "province." In Spanish, it is said, this might 
have become "Kalif6n" for a "large province" (due to the 
presence of the augmentative"6n"), from which it would be 
but a step to "Kalifomia," or "California." To be sure. Or- 

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d6nez de Montalvo might have invented the name, and if 
he did it would be profitless to guess just how it might have 
occurred to him, but there is strong reason for believing that 
he followed ajliterary precedent in his use of the word. In the 
Chanson de Roland^ the famous epic poem of the French, 
believed to have been composed late in the eleventh century 
or possibly later, there occur the following lines: 

'^or est mis nies ki tant soleit cunquere 
Encuntre mei revelerunt li Saisne 
Et Himgre et Bugre et tante gent averse. 
Remain, Puillain et tuit cU de Paleme 
E cU d'Aflfrike e cil de Califeme." 

This may be translated roughly as follows: 

'TJead is my nephew who conquered so many lands! And now 
the Saxons rebel against me, and the HungariaDS, Bulgarians, and 
many others, the Romans, the 'Puillain,' and those of Palermo 
(Sicily) and those of Africa and those of 'Califeme'." 

It is to be noted that here is a catalogue of enemy nations 
in a list which begins with those in the north and works to 
the south and east. The learned commentators on the 
Chanson have never been able to explain the "Califeme," 
but give their opinion that it stands probably for ''the 
caliph's domain." 

Tliere can be no question but that a learned man like 
Qrd6nez de Montalvo was familiar with the Chanson de 
Roland^ especially since it was cognate to the material that 
he himself employed. Certainly the cycle of tales about the 
knights of the round table at the court of King Arthur was 
very well known to Orddnez and the other romancers, for 
the heroes of those stories appear frequently in the novels of 
chivalry. The appearance of "Califeme" in this list of peo- 
ples and lands, of which several were certainly not Chris- 
tian, might well have caught Ord6nez's attention, when he 
himself was making a similar catalogue of the nations. ''Cal- 
ifornia" is a perfectly natural Spanish form for "Califeme," 
especially since "e" and "o" have not infrequently changed 
from one to the other in the history of Spanish words. This 
derivation of the word "Califomia" can perhaps never be 

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proved, but it is too plausible — and it may be added too 
interesting — to be overlooked. Thus does the name "Cali- 
fornia" become linked with one of the greatest poems in his- 
tory, and the date of its origin is placed four centuries earlier. 
One wonders, indeed, if there might not have been some 
long past Moslem realm so-called, at least by the peoples of 
Europe, carrying the name far back to the great days of 
Bagdad and Damascus. 

The story of the application of the name to the Califor- 
nias may some day be revealed in the archives of Spain, but 
it is at present shrouded in more mystery than is the origin 
of the word. In Cortes' so-called "fourth letter'' to the king, 
dated October 15, 1524, he has a paragraph about an expedi- 
tion by one of his lieutenants in which there is the following 

''He likewise brought me an account of the chiefs of the prov- 
ince of Ceguatan, who affirm that there is an island iQhabited only 
by women without any men, and that at given times men from the 
mainland visit them; if they conceive, they keep the female chil- 
dren to which they give birth, but the males they throw away. 
This island is ten dajrs' journey from the province, and many of 
them went thither and saw it, and told me also that it is very rich 
in pearls and gold." 

Six years later Cortes' great enemy, Guzm^, who was 
in the midst of his conquest of Nueva Galicia, made virtually 
the same report. A portion of his letter to the king of Spain, 
dated July 8, 1530, reads (according to the translation in the 
Pilgrimes of Samuel Purchas), as follows: 

"From thence [Aztatlan] ten dayes further I shall goe to find the 
AmazoDS, which some say dwell in the Sea, some in an arme of the 
Sea, and that they are rich, and accoimted of the people for God- 
desses, and whiter than other women. They use Bowes, Arrows, 
and Targets; have many and great townes; at a certain time 
[they] admit them [i. e. men] to accompanie them, which bring 
up the males as these the female issue.'' 

These documents show that the Spaniards were expecting 
to find just such an island as the "California" of romance. 
When Forttin Jimenez on behalf of Cort6s reached Baja 
Calif omia in 1533-1534, he believed it to be an island, but he 

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also found many other islands in the vicinity and, most im- 
portant of all, found pearls. Jim^ez must have applied 
names to the lands he found, but the disaster which befell his 
expedition precluded the saving of any records of the voyage. 
When Cort6s himself landed at La Paz in Baja California, 
he named the site and also the bay ''Santa Cruz.'' Clearly, 
if he knew the name appUed by Jimenez he did not retain it. 
Furthermore, he would not have been inclined to honor the 
names given by Jimenez, for that worthy had murdered 
Becerra, Cortes' own kinsman and the leader he had desig- 
nated for the voyage. It is said, too, that Cortes never him- 
self employed the name "California" in reference to the 
land which had been discovered under his auspices. Many 
writers who dealt with Cortfe' expedition of 1535, — for 
example, G6mara, Bemal Dfaz, and Herrera, — ^referred to 
the land as "California," but their works were published a 
number of years after the name had become definitely fixed. 
A map of 1541, purporting to illustrate Cortes' activities 
in the Pacific, has the word "California" on it, but this is 
believed to have been added late in the eighteenth century 
by Archbishop (of Mexico) Lorenzana, who was getting out 
an edition of Cort6s' letters. On the UUoa expedition of 
1539-1540 diaries were kept by Pedro de Palencia and Fran- 
cisco Preciado. The diary of the former in the original Span- 
ish is extant, but that of Preciado is at present known only in 
translation. The name "California" does not appear in Pa- 
lencia's diary, but in the Italian version of Preciado's, 
printed in the works of Giovanni Ramusio between 1550 
and 1556, it occurs three times. One of these entries reads: 
"We found ourselves fifty-four leagues distant from Cali- 
fornia." Much the same statement appears in Palencia, but 
the place is called "Santa X," thus identifying California 
with the place where Jimenez and Cortes had landed. It has 
been argued that Ramusio, whose translation appeared after 
the name had been definitely applied, might have taken hb- 
erties with Preciado's original, just as Richard Hakluyt later 
took Uberties with the account in Ramusio. This is of course 
a possibility, but it cannot be asserted with confidence any 

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more than the probability of its being an accurate rendering 
can be. In 1542 the name definitely appears in the Spanish 
journal of Juan Rodrfguez Cabrillo, the first European navi- 
gator to reach the coast of Alta California. It is mentioned 
casually as of a name already well known. 

There is no direct evidence associating the name of Cali- 
fornia with Ord6nez's romance, but the circumstantial evi- 
dence is so strong that the connection has been generally 
accepted since Edward Everett Hale first advanced the idea. 
Granted that the story in the Sergas accounted for the 
name, the further question arises: Who applied it and when? 
In the opinion of tiie writer the name was applied by Jime- 
nez on the occasion of his discovery of the peninsula in 
1533-1534. The failure of Cortes to use the name, owing to 
his attitude toward the murderer of his kinsman, has al- 
ready been explained. This would so make clear why those 
in his immediate service would avoid the name, for fear t>f 
the displeasure of the old conquistador ^ and especially does 
it account for the probable difference on- this point in the 
Palencia and Preciado diaries. Palencia was the personal 
representative of Cort& on Ulloa's voyage and oflSicial diar- 
ist, addressing his journal to Cortes. He would therefore be 
more likely to employ "Santa Cruz" than the proscribed 
word "California." Preciado's position on the Ulloa voyage 
is not clear, but it would seem that he was not m the same 
official category as Palencia. Furthermore, he left the ship 
before the end of the voyage. The inference is a natural one 
that he would have been more free than Palencia to use the 
name current among the men. 

Though Preciado's diary identifies "California" with the 
bay and port of La Paz, there are many indications that the 
name was applied originally to many islands which were 
called collectively "the Califomias." Thus, Richard Hak- 
luyt (though, of course, many years after the discovery) in 
commenting on certain portions of the story of Marcos de 
Niza speaks of: 

"A great island and 30 small islands which seem to be the new 
islands of California, rich in pearles," 

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and again of: 

"Great pearles and much gold in the ides of California, which 
are 34 in number." 

It would seem, therefore, that the term "Califomias," 
which for centuries was much more cmrent than the use of 
the word in the singular, was intended for the numerous and 
actually existing pearl islands of the gulf, one of which might 
contain the long-sought Amazons, though nobody had seen 
them. In later years the word was retained as a normal 
plural for the eventual two Califomias, Alta and Baja. 

There is one other theory concerning the application of 
the name which is advanced by such high authority and yet 
is so contrary to the spirit of Spanish nomenclature that it 
cannot be passed over in silence. Bancroft and Miss Put- 
nam suggest that the name might have been applied in 
derision, because it was so \inlike the "Califomias'' of ro- 
mance. Bancroft suggests that this might have been given 
in 1536 by the colonists who were^abandoning the penin- 
sula, while Miss Putnam postpones the naming until the 
voyage of Alarc6n in 1540. Miss Putnam points out that 
Alarc6n was disposed to belittle the achievements of Cort6s, 
because Alarc6n was then in the service of Cortes' rival, the 
viceroy. According to Miss Putnam, Alarc6n or one of his 
followers might have said : ''There is the wonderful island the 
Marquis sought — there is the romancer's California" — ^and 
the name stuck. It seems so real to Miss Putnam that she 
"can almost hear the sneer at the end of the ia" — despite the 
fact that Alarc6n sailed up the gulf and back again on the 
mainland coast and not along Baja California, wherefore he 
at no time came within sight of those parts of the peninsula 
reached by Cort6s. 

In any event the appUcation of the name California 
because the land seemed so unlike the "California" of the 
Sergas was both inconsistent with Spanish usage and with 
the facts as they believed them to be. If the point of view 
taken in this chapter is correct, the name was applied be- 
fore the Spaniards had any clear knowledge of the country, 
and thus represented their beliefs and hopes rather than dis- 

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appointment; indeed it was not for many years after the 
voyages of Ulloa and Alarc6n that the desolate character 
of the peninsula became known. In the second place, it is 
certain not only that the Spaniards had high hopes about 
the wealth of the Califomias, — ^hopes which seemed con- 
firmed when pearls were found there, — ^but also that they 
were not disappointed. As Mrs. Sanchez has said: 

"They were not looking for green trees and babbling brooks, 
but for the yellow gold, and none knew better than they that the 
precious metal was more often found in such bare, desolate lands 
than in any other." 

Thousands of documents — ^the writer himself has seen 
hundreds — attest the truth of this statement as concerns 
Spanish ideas about the wealth of the Califomias, even of 
the peninsula; this view was held continuously by the 
Spaniards down to the close of the eighteenth century. And 
even when they did not find riches, they always expected to 
come upon them "a little farther on." Finally, the Span- 
iards never seem to have employed the style of mockery 
suggested in giving place names; indeed, the practice of 
characterizing a place by a name which implies the very 
opposite is of a piece with a certain kind of latter-day 
.^erican hmnor and totally foreign to Spanish habits. On 
the contrary, the Spaniards very frequently expressed their 
real views in their names, with complete directness, — ^for 
example, in such terms as "The Tiresome Hills," "Cape 
Deceit," "Valley of Hunger," and "Valley of Get-out-if-you- 
can." Indeed, says Mrs. Sanchez, referring to the conjecture 
that the name was applied in derision, 

"not a single fact or argument has yet been advanced in support 
of such a humiliating theory, and there is little doubt that our 
noble State received its charming name, not in mockery, but 
rather in hopeful anticipation, almost in a spirit of prophecy of 
the riches and wonders to be found there." 

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And, indeed, California in one part of its vast extension was 
eventually to prove itself, both literally and metaphorically, 
"the land of gold."' 

*The following works (in addition 
to the general histories) were used in 
the preparation of this chapter: 

1. Chapman, Charles Edward. New 

light on the origin of the name 
(fidifornia (Los Aneeles. Mar., 
1916), in Qrvaiy hear maga- 
zine, V. XVIII, no. 6, 5. 

2. Davidson, George. The origin 

and the meaning of the name 
Califomia (San Francisco. 
1910), in Geopaphical so- 
ciety of the Pacific, Traneac- 
Hone and proeeedinge, y. VI, 
pt. 1, aer. 2, 1«£0. 

3. Putnam, Ruth, w. eoUab. of 

Herlxfft Ingram Priestley. 
Califomia: the name (Berke- 

Sy, Califomia. 1917), in 
mversit^ of California, Pu6- 
licatione tn kietory, v. IV, no. 
4, 289^65. 

4. Sanches, Nellie yan de Grift. 

The name of our hdoved Cali- 
fomia: woe U given inderieion? 
(Los Angeles. Apr., 1916), 
in Qriedy hear magatine, v. 
XVIII, no. 6, 8. 

5. Sanches, Nellie yan de Grift. 

Spanieh and Indian place 
namee of Califomia (San 
Francisco. 1914). 13-18. 

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"A little farther north I" There was the location of those 
things which according to present-day conceptions were so 
mysterious and wonderful, though to the Spaniards the 
mystery was mainly in that their exact location continued 
to escape them. Still, the searches in the north that were 
most productive of romancing were with a view to the dis- 
covery of something not at all marvelous in itself and which 
in fact existed, — though, to be sure, in less agreeable form 
than was to be desired, — a waterway aroimd, or through, the 
continent of North America. Some indication has already 
been given about the origin of the theory of the strait, and of 
the attempts to find it at Panam^ and then ever and ever 
more to northward. As early as 1541, Francisco Vdzquez 
de Coronado had carried the strait at least as far north as 
Kansas, and in 1543 Bartolom^ Ferrelo sailed along the 
Pacific coast to about the present northern boundary of 
California, while swarms of European navigators from many 
countries ranged up and down the Atlantic coast. But it 
must be remembered that there were scores of others who 
said that they had been yet farther — even to the strait itself 
— or almost that far, — and there was hardly a man but knew, 
or had heard of, somebody who had been through the strait. 
The Indians, too, from a spirit of childlike exaggeration, or 
because the white men did not clearly understand them, or, 
indeed, because their own information was rather vague, 
repeatedly confirmed conjectures as to its existence. In- 
evitably the strait was surrounded with a glamor which in- 
troduced wealthy kingdoms and rich cities along its bank^ — 


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all the wonderful things that men had expected to find else- 
where. Thus it was that fiction became fad in its influenoe 
upon actual explorations. 

''But for this influence/' bajb Bancroft, "it may almost be 
doubted that Spanish occupation at the end of the seventeenth 
or even the eighteenth century would have extended above Colima 
on the Pacific and P&nuco on the Atlantic side/' 

Since men did not clearly know what was real and what was 
not, they went farther and farther afield to penetrate the 
"northern mystery*' and in particular to discover the secret 
of the strait. 

The search for the strait on the Atlantic side, from 
Darien to Hudson Bay, does not need to be told here. Even- 
tually it narrowed down to a seeking of the "Northwest 
Passage.'' The names of Hudson, Baffin, Davis, and James 
have been perpetuated on the map as a result of their search 
for the elusive strait. Meanwhile, a ceaseless campaign of 
discovery was being undertaken from the Pacific side, but 
here the seekers were almost all of them in the Spanish 
service, and the waterway became known as the "Strait of 
Ani&n." It is to be borne in mind, too, that the idea of the 
existence of a practicable way of commimication between 
the two oceans was not given up until the last decade of the 
eighteenth century, after three himdred years of effort. Over 
a century later a boat did sail by way of the "Northwest 
Passage," or "Strait of Anidn," around North America from 
the Atlantic to the Pacific. Roald Amundsen was the skip- 
per, and his Uttle craft, the Ojoa, now rests high and dry on 
the Cliff House Beach by San Francisco, with its prow look- 
ing out to sea. The governing authorities of Spain would 
have preferred to believe that there was no strait, since its 
existence would be to that country's disadvantage, f lunishing 
a route to rival nations or to freebooters whence they might 
attack the rich kingdom of New Spain. But if there were 
such a strait, Spain wished to be the first to find it, so as to 
fortify it and prohibit its use to others. For three centuries 
the fear of foreign attack by way of the strait or by way of 
some unknown great river, connected possibly with the 

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Great Lakes, was one of the leading factors in inducing 
Spain to make preventive conquests in the north, and es- 
pecially was this true as affecting the Spanish advance 
toward and into the Calif omias. 

The story of the search for the Strait of Anidn is one of 
the most fascinating tales in the annals of the New World. 
One way to trace it is through the medimn of cartography, 
which is also one of the most enlightening sources for an un- 
derstanding of European notions in general about the 
Americas. Some idea has already been given of the pro- 
gress of geographical thought, — of the early theories based on 
the belief that North America was Asia and that the strait 
was in the vicinity of Panama, followed by the conjecture 
that North America was a south-eastward projection from 
Asia, but with a continuance of belief in the possibility of the 
strait. As time went on, the idea of the strait returned with 
new intensity. This was in part due to actual discoveries, 
such as those of the great inlets of the Atlantic coast, in part 
to the false or e3caggerated stories that were told, and in part 
to a survival of old ideas. An example of the last-named 
influence was the persistence of the l^end of Atlantis, the 
island continent which the ancients said had disappeared 
beneath the sea. With the gradual elimination of the 
North-America-as-Asia idea, men wondered whether they 
might not have found the long-lost continent, and if that 
were the case, there had to be a strait or a passage around it, 
since Atlantis was an island. All of these changes in belief 
found record in the maps. 

For example, the earliest known map of America, that 
made by Juan de la Cosa in 1500, indicated the possibility 
of a strait in Central America, though (with due regard to 
the reputed position of what we now call the Strait of 
Malacca) he placed it below the equator. Ruysch's map of 
1608 had South America as the New World, widely separated 
by sea (though indicated as imcertain) from the West Indies 
and Asia, which was in the position that North America 
actually occupies. Schoner in 1520 had a small North 
America called Cuba, a strait in Central America, and a 

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channel separating it on the west from the near-by island of 
Japan. In a 1530 edition of the works of Ptolemy, a Greek 
geographer of the second century, North America was 
larger, was included as part of the New World, and had no 
strait, but did not extend far to the north, leaving a passage 
around it ; Japan and Asia were only a few miles to the west. 
Orontius Fine, in 1531, reverted to the original idea that 
North America was Asia, and South America a southeastward 
extension from it, with no strait except the one discovered 
by Magellan. The Mtinster map of 1545 is similar to the 
above-named map of 1530, but North America extended 
farther north, and was separated by a strait from Asia and a 
gigantic Iceland (of about the same size as the North 
America), and these two in turn were separated from each 
other by a strait. The first map showing North America 
approximately as it is was issued by Ramusio in 1556. 
About the only strange feature was the appearance of the 
mythical Quivira in Alta California. Blanks were left for 
the regions beyond which actual discoveries had been made. 
Homem, in 1558, had a narrow North America, running 
from southwest to northeast, paralleling the line of the 
Atlantic coast. Homem had a niunber of straits, the most 
prominent of which was by way of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. 
The great OrteUus, in 1574, issued a map which, like that of 
Ramusio, was substantially correct, showing the strait past 
the kingdom of Ani^ at about the point where Bering 
Strait in fact enters the Arctic Ocean. Wild geography was 
by no means dead, however. For example, Lok's map of 
1582 showed an open sea above North America, which ex- 
tended to about 45^ in the extreme northwest and to about 
63** in the northeast, at which point the strait appeared. 
Incidentally, the kingdom of Quivira again found lodging 
in Alta California. Even to the close of the eighteenth cen- 
tury there was a strange mixture of the real with the 
fabulous. De I'lsle's map of 1752 was substantially accurate 
as far north as Cape Mendocino, but just above that there 
was a great inland-reaching western sea, and beyond that, 
at about 50**, a strait went through to Hudson Bay. In 1778 

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the American traveler Jonathan Carver indicated a river 
which had its sources near those of the Missouri and emptied 
into the Pacific, and as late as 1782 there was the Janvier 
map, showing an enormous "Sea of the West," with com- 
munication by rivers with the waterways of the east. In- 
cidentally, these maps showed where "mermaids" were to be 
found, and Amazon islands, and other strange things.^ 

The records are also teeming with memorials about the 
strait. There is one account by Men^ndez de Avil6s, the 
Spanish conqueror of Florida. According to Men^ndez he 
met a man in 1554 who said he went through the strait from 
the Atlantic to the Pacific on a French vessel. The vessel 
was wrecked on the return voyage, and the narrator of the 
story alone escaped. A certain Fem^dez de Ladrillero 
made a sworn statement that he had been on a voyage, many 
years before, that got near the strait on the northwest coast, 
but storms and damage to the ships had forced a return. He 
also knew an Englishman who had entered the strait while 
fishing for cod. Undoubtedly, Fem^dez told the truth as 
he saw it; it would seem that he was on the UUoa voyage, 
and that the Englishman had entered the Gulf of St. 
Lawrence. Drake, who was in Alta California in 1579, was 
beUeved by many Spaniards to have returned to England 
through the strait, and their view was confirmed several 
years later by "a foreign pilot" named Morena, who told his 
story to a governor of New Mexico. Morena said that Drake 
put him ashore in the vicinity of the strait, while he was sick. 
Recovering his health he had then wandered about for four 
years, and at length came to an arm of the sea dividing New 
Mexico from a great western land. This body of water 
extended northward, he believed, to the strait, and its banks 
had many large settlements, including a nation of white 
people. This sounded similar to the great western river of 
which Espejo had heard, during his expedition of 1581-1583, 

^For a proper understanding of this importance for the investigator is the 

subject one needs to study the maps. Ruth Putnam collection of mAfts in 

See Brancroft, Hubert Howe, ais- the Bancroft Library of the Univer- 

tary of the northwe9t coast (San Fran- sity of California. 
ei8eo.l886).y.I,32-136. Ofstillgreater 

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for thaty too, was rumored to have rich towns on its banks. 
But Espejo's rifver was real, the Colorado, and the "rich 
towns" were the piieblos of the Moquis, which to Espejo's 
Indian informants seemed remarkably wealthy. When 
John Smith was captured by the Indians in 1607 (on the 
occasion when Pocahontas intervened to save him) he was 
exploring the Chickahominy River for a passage to the 
Pacific. Father Marquette heard in 1673 that from a point 
five or six days up the Missouri there was a stream which 
went to the Gulf of California, and he hoped to make the 
discovery. One of the most remarkable stories was that of 
Diego de Penalosa, an ex-governor of New Mexico. He said 
that in 1662 he made an expedition far to the northeast of 
Santa Fe, and came to the city of Quivira. After marching 
for two leagues through part of Quivira, Peflalosa sent out 
an exploring party which was unable to get to the end of the 
city. The natives said that there were other provinces 
farther on, which were so rich that even their ordinary 
dishes were made of gold and silver. Moreover, this land 
was along the sea, where ships might reach it easily. 

Three voyages stand out from the rest as the most im- 
portant among those that were never made, — ^the so-called 
fictitious, or apocryphal, voyages of Juan de Fuca, Mal- 
donado, and Fonte. In 1596 Fuca told the Englishman Lok 
that he had been in command of a Spanish voyage of 1592 
up the Pacific coast in search of the strait. He had found the 
strait beyond 47**, and sailed through it, after which he re- 
turned to Acapulco. The Maldonado voyage was supposed 
to have been made in 1588, but the story was first told in 
1609. According to Maldonado he had entered the strait off 
the coast of Labrador, coming out into the Polar Sea and 
then passing through another strait in 60** into the Pacific 
Ocean. Fonte is supposed to have made his voyage in 1640, 
though both Fonte and the story were invented in 1708. 
Fonte made his voyage from the Pacific side, and entered a 
river in 53**. Eventually he met a "Boston ship" coming 
from "Maltechusets," and this proved the existence of the 
strait. These reputed voyages are entirely discredited now, 

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but they had a tremendous influence on explorations. The 
Spaniards, under whose auspices they were supposed to have 
been made, never believed in these voyages, for their records 
contained nothing about them, but the French and the 
English did credit them, down to the close of the eighteenth 
century; they thought the Spaniards had discovered the 
strait, and wished themselves to share in its advantages. 
It is often said that the Spaniards lost interest in the 
"northern mystery," but there is a continuous documentary 
record, at least as late as 1776, showing that they gave atten- 
tion to the strait, or "river of the west,'' and persisted in 
their search, in fear that the English or French had already 
discovered such a passage or that they might be on the 
point of doing so. Indeed, one of the primary objects of an 
official Spanish voyage of 1791 was to settle, once for all, 
the question of the strait. Incidentally, the fame of at least 
one fictitious voyager, Juan de Fuca, has been recognized 
by posterity in the application of his name to the strait that 
enters Puget Soimd and also to a cigar I 

It is probable that the mountain peaks of Alta California 
may have been seen by some of the early Spanish expeditions 
to the Colorado, which thus may have a certain claim for the 
discovery of the land. UUoa went to the head of the Gulf of 
California in 1539. In 1540 Hernando de Alarc6n duplicated 
this achievement, and ascended the Colorado for a number of 
miles in small boats. In the same year, Melchor Dfaz, in 
command of a branch of the V^quez de Coronado expedi- 
tion, marched overland to the Colorado, with a view to co- 
operating with Alarc6n. Both of these men, it would seem, 
did not get as far north as the Gila, wherefore it is likely 
that they did not actually reach Alta California soil. The 
direct cause of the first expedition which is known to have 
set foot in Alta California was the search for the strait of 
Ani^. Beyond Ulloa's farthest north there remained an 
untried course, which the viceroy Mendoza resolved to ex- 
ploit, in the hope that he would find the much-desired strait 
and thus provide an all-Spanish direct route from Spain to 
the East Indies. In commftnd was a certain Juan Rodrf^ez 

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Cabrillo, a Portuguese by birth and a skilled mariner. The 
chief pilot and eventual leader of the expedition, after the 
commander's death, was Bartolom^ Ferrelo, described as a 
native of the Levant. 

On June 27, 1542, Rodriguez, or as he has always (though 
improperly) been called Cabrillo, set sail from Navidad on 
the west coast of New Spain, with his own and another ship 
under his command. 

''The vessds were smaller than any of our coasting schooners/' 
wrote George Davidson. "They were poorly built and very badly 
outfitted. Their anchors and ironwork were carried by men from 
the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific; they were manned by conscripts 
and natives; were badly provisioned, and the crews subject to 
that deadly scourge of the sea, scurvy." 

Arrived at the mouth of the Gulf of California, that body of 
water was found to be in its all too customary state, and it 
took four days to cross over. Thereafter Rodriguez pro- 
ceeded leisurely up the western coast of the peninsula, 
stopping frequently. While at San Quentfn, a Uttle above 
the 30th parallel, he was informed by the Indians that there 
were white men farther east. On four other occasions, at 
San Diego, Catalina Island, San Pedro, and Ventura, the 
Indians told the same story. It is probable that the word 
had been passed on, from tribe to tribe, of the Vdzquez de 
Coronado expedition or its offshoots toward the Colorado. 
At last, on Thursday, September 28, 1542, after three months 
of voyaging, Rodriguez and his men ''discovered a port, 
closed and very good, which they named San Miguel." 
They were in fact at San Diego, and had achieved for them- 
selves the glory of discovering Alta California, — aU un- 
wittingly, for to them it was the same land as before. 

That same day they entered the port and went ashore. 
The Indians were greatly terrifiied, and in the night fired 
arrows at some Spaniards who were fishing, wounding three 
of them. It appears that their fear was inspired by ac- 
counts they had received of the Spaniards in the east, who 
had been reported as killing many natives. But here as else^ 
where Rodriguez made gifts to the Indians, and gave them 

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no occasion for terror or resentment. After a stay of six days 
at San Diego, the fleet put to sea again, and took four days 
to reach Catalina Island, where Rodriguez arrived on Octo- 
ber 7. Next day, he stopped at San Pedro, proceeding on 
the following day to Santa Monica. On the 10th the fleet 
reached Ventura, where the Indians came out to meet them 
in large canoes, each of which held twelve or thirteen men. 
For the fifth time the Spaniards were told of men like them- 
selves to the east, and heard also that 'Hhere was a great 
river," which may have kindled hopes respecting the chief 
object of their voyage. Friday, the 13th, had no terrors for 
them, for on that day they resumed the voyage, going up 
the Santa Barbara Channel and anchoring on successive 
days at Rincon, Carpinteria (four or five miles west of Point 
Goleta), Refugio (ten miles farther on), Gaviota Pass, and 
Point Conception, which they reached on October 18, this 
being the farthest north that any landing was made. Here 
they encountered a strong northwest wind. They stood out 
to sea to southward, and soon made port at Cuyler's Harbor 
in the Island of San Miguel. 

Rodrfguez remained here for a week, in course of which he 
had a fall, breaking his arm near the shoulder. Nevertheless, 
he gave orders to continue the voyage. For a month now, 
from October 25 to November 23, the expedition encoimtered 
storms. Rodriguez and his men seem to have roimded Point 
Conception, and at one time tried 

''to approach the mainland in search of a large river which they 
had heard was on the other side of Cape Galera [Point Concep- 
tion], and because on tiie land there were signs of rivers. But 
they found none; neither did they anchor here, because the coast 
was very bold." 

Forced back by the storm they returned to the Gaviota 
Pass anchorage for a stay of five days. Putting out again on 
November 6, they took several days to reach and get around 
the point, but were then driven to sea by a storm, and did 
not make land again for eight days. 

"So great was the swell of the ocean that it was terrifying 
to see," 

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says the chronicler of the voyage, who was on the flagship, 
adding later that 

"Those on the other ship had experienced greater labor and risk 
than those of the captain's ship, since it was .a small vessel and 
had no deck." 

For four days the two ships lost sight of each other. On 
the 14th those on the flagship sighted land at Northwest 
Cape, in 38*" 31', near Fort Ross, having passed without 
seeing them, such important parts of the coast as the Bay 
of Monterey, the Golden Gate and the Bay of San 
Francisco, and Drake's Bay. The storm which had driven 
them north shifted to another quarter, and compelled 
them to run south. On the 16th, they discovered Drake's 
Bay, but were unable to go ashore, though they remained in 
that vicinity until November 18. It was on the last-named 
day that they came nearest to discovering the Bay of San 
Francisco, which they seem to have passed. The entry in 
the journal for that day is as follows: 

"The following Saturday they ran along the coast, and at night 
found themselves off Cape San Martin [Point Pinos]. All the coast 
run this day is very bold ; the sea has a heavy swell and the coast is 
very high. There are mountains which reach the sky, and the sea 
beats upon them. When sailing along near the land, it seems as if 
the moimtains would fall upon the ships. They are covered with 
snow to the summit, and they named them the Sierras Nevadas.* 
At the beginning of them a cape is formed which projects into the 
sea, and which they named Cape Nieve."* 

The two places named wei:e r^arded by Davidson as the 
Santa Cruz Moimtains and Black Mountain, but (since 
few writers have been able to agree as to the precise route of 
this voyage) one wonders if the storm-tossed navigators 
might actually have seen the Golden Gate, mistaking one 
headland at its entrance for a point running into the sea. 
At any rate, the vessels seem to have followed the coast 
this day, and not to have been troubled by fog. Several 
days later, on November 23, they entered Cuyler's Harbor 
again, glad, no doubt, of the opportunity that port afforded 

* ''Snowy Mountains." * ''Cape Snow." 

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them for a respite from their experiences. They had found 
no shelter at all in their voyage beyond Point Conception, 
the journalist records, for the coast was bold and rugged, 
and they had met with strong winds and a heavy sea. 

The weather was now so continuously bad that a stay of 
nearly three months was made on the islands of the Santa 
Barbara Channel, mostly at San Miguel. On January 3, 
1543, while they were still at this island, Juan Rodriguez 
Cabrillo died, as a direct result of the broken arm he had 
suffered there, several months before. Undoubtedly, the 
exposure to which he had been subjected in the diflScult 
voyage of November had been more than he could stand. 
Courageous to the end, he charged his men with his dying 
words to carry on the voyage and explore as much as possible 
of that coast. In every way, it would seem, this man, the 
earliest of Alta California's heroes, is worthy of the respect 
of posterity. Martin Femdndez Navarrete, a distinguished 
Spanish historian, has this to say of Rodriguez's achieve- 

"Those who know the coast which [Rodriguez] Cabrillo discov- 
ered and explored, the kind of vessels in which he undertook the 
expedition, the rigorous season during which he pursued his voyage 
in those intemperate climes, and the state of the science of naviga- 
tion at that period, cannot help admiring a courage and intrepidity 
which, though common among seafaring Spaniards of that time, 
cannot be appreciated in o\xt day, when the navigator is fairly 
dazzled by the assistance furnished him through the wonderful 
progress of the arts and sciences, rendering his operations easier 
and suppl3ring him with advantages which, as they were lacking to 
the early discoverers, make their courage and perseverance, as 
portentous as their discoveries." 

If it was difficult in Femdndez's day to appreciate the prob- 
lems that confronted the navigators of Rodrfeuez's time, 
how much more lacking in a conception of the dangers they 
had to face must people of this day be, for the Femdndez 
account was pubUshed in 1802, when nautical science was 
much less advanced than it has since become! In honor of 
their dead commander his companions changed the name of 
the island where he died from "Posesi6n" (which they had 

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called it before) to the "Island of Juan Rodriguez." Neither 
the name nor the full meed of that pilot's glory has, however, 
been preserved to him. 

Bartolom6 Ferrelo now took command, and on February 
18, after some preliminary cruisings of little moment, 
resumed the voyage. Going out to sea before rounding 
Point Conception, he did not approach the coast until he 
had reached Northwest Cape, at Rodriguez's farthest north. 
Proceeding under great difficulties, with but little opportun- 
ity to view the coast, Ferrelo is believed to have passed 
beyond what is now the northern boundary of California 
to about opposite the Rogue River in Oregon, in latitude 
42^ 30'. The account of the voyage that day, March 1, 1543, 
makes it perfectly clear why Ferrelo then turned back: 

"They ran this night [February 28] to the west-northwest, with 
great difficulty, and on Thursday [March 1], in the morning, the 
wind shifted to the southwest with great fury, the seas coming from 
many directions, causing them great fatigue and breaking over the 
ships; and as they had no decks, if God had not succored them 
they could not have escaped. Not being able to lay-to, they were 
forced to scud northeast toward the land; and now, thinking them- 
selves lost, they commended themselves to Our Lady of Guada- 
lupe and made their vows. Thus they ran until three o'clock in the 
afternoon, with great fear and travail, because they concluded 
that they were about to be lost, for they saw many signs that the 
land was near by, both birds and very green trees, which came 
from some rivers, althou^ because the weather was very dark and 
cloudy the land was invisible. At this hour the Mother of God 
succored them, by the grace of her Son, for a very heavy rain- 
storm came up from the north which drove them south with fore- 
sails lowered all night and until sunset the next day; and as there 
was a high sea from the south it broke every time over the prow 
and swept over them as over a rock. The wind shifted to the 
northwest and to the north-northwest with great fury, forcing 
them to scud to the southeast and east-southeast until Saturday 
the 3d of March, with a sea so high that they became crazed, and if 
God and his blessed Mother had not miraculously saved them they 
could not have escaped . . . With respect to food they also suf- 
fered hardship, because they had nothing but damaged biscuit." 

Yet, the diarist records that they believed there was a 
very large river in the vicinity of their farthest north; they 

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did not wholly forget their quest for the passage through the 
contment, though the storm did not permit them to stop 
for a search. Meanwhile, their troubles were not over. On 
March 4 the flagship lost sight of the consort, and when days 
mounted into weeks without news of her, she was beUeved 
to have been lost. Arrived at the "Island of Juan Rod- 
riguez" on March 5, Ferrelo was unable to enter the port, so 
terrible was the storm, but soon found shelter behind Santa 
Cruz Island. 

Going southward, now, Ferrelo stopped at Ventura, 
Catalina Island, and San Diego in Alta California, making 
futile enquiries for the lost ship. He does not seem to have 
been so careful to please the Indians as Rodriguez had been, 
for there is no further mention of the giving of presents, and 
at Ventura Ferrelo "secured four Indians," and at San Diego 
"secured two boys to take to New Spain as interpreters." 
On March 17 he left San Diego, and went successively to the 
Bay of Todos Santos, San Quentfn, and Cerros Island in 
Baja California. On March 26, while they were at that 
island, the consort came out of the sea, to the great rejoicing 
of all. It had been missing for three weeks. As told in the 

"they thought they would be lost, but the sailors promised Our 
Lady to msJ^e a pilgrimage to her church naked, and she saved 

Supplies were now too low to permit of their resuming 
the exploration. So they returned to the port of origin, 
Navidad, arriving there on April 14, 1543. How many re- 
turned of those who had in the first place set out from there 
the journal did not say. 

Thie Rodr^uez-Ferrelo expedition had not discovered the 
strait or any wealthy kingdom of Quivira, wherefore in some 
senses it had been a failure. It had, however, made known 
some eight hundred miles more of coast and its trend north- 
westward toward Asia; the strait had therefore been very 
appreciably pushed to the north and farther away from New 
Spain. This might well have been considered a satisfactory 

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achievement by the viceroy Mendoza. To Califomians, 
however, it is enough that Rodriguez and Ferrelo have 
given them a noble tradition, — of a discovery of Alta Cali- 
fornia under conditions requiring a courage and tenacity 
that seem to have been almost superhuman.^ 

^ The principal item used (together Spanish exploration in the aouth- 

with the general histories) in the west, 1642-1706. \x. ed. by Hot- 

preparation of this chapter was the ^gX'i^^^^'^f 

following: ^^ly American hietory series. 

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In the same year that Juan Rodriguez was ordered to 
the north on the voyage that resulted in the discovery of 
Alta California, the viceroy M endoza sent Villalobos with 
a fleet across the Pacific to the ^'San L^aro Islands/' where 
Magellan and other Spanish navigators had touched be- 
fore. Arrived at these islands in 1542 Villalobos rechristened 
them "Filipinas/' in honor of the Prince of Asturias, the 
later Philip II of Spain. Thus did the Philippines, as we call 
them, acquire their name. These islands, many thousand 
miles across the seas, were destined to be, during some two 
centuries, more closely attached to the history of Alta Cali- 
fornia than almost any other land on earth. This was due 
to the sailings of the ''Manila galleon," which for 250 years 
went annually down the coast on its long voyage from 
Manila in the Philippines to Acapulco in New Spain. 

The history of this service dates from the year 1565. Ma- 
gellan, Loaysa, Saavedra, Grijalva, and Villalobos had pre- 
viously headed expeditions which crossed the Pacific from 
east to west, but no ship had yet succeeded in the attempt 
to make a return voyage. In 1559 Philip II gave orders that 
a fleet should be sent to effect a conquest of the Philippines 
and to find a sailing route across the Pacific from Asia to the 
Americas. He also commanded a certain Father Andr^ de 
Urdaneta to accompany the expeditions, ostensibly as chap- 
lain, but really in order to have full charge of the sailing. 
Strange as it may seem that he gave such a post to a man of 
the religious profession, the science of navigation was per- 
haps much more within Urdaneta's ken than the tenets of 
his faith. Bom in 1498 he had for many years been a sailor 


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of experience, had voyaged around the world, and was better 
acquainted with Pacific waters than any of the king's sub- 
jects. Late in life he had taken religious vows, but he was 
too valuable a sailor to be spared. Four ships, ranging in size 
from five hundred to forty tons, and about four hundred men 
were gathered together for the voyage, and instructions were 

"Go to the Philippioes and the adjacent islands, discover the 
return route to New Spain with all possible speed, and bring back 
spices and other valuaole commodities.'' 

Thus ran the instructions. Furthermore, a portion of this 
meagre force, under Miguel G6mez de Legazpi, was ordered 
to effect the conquest of a group of islands containing mil- 
Uons of natives. 

The start was made from Navidad in New Spain, on No- 
vember 21, 1564, Urdaneta ran south to about lO"* north 
of the equator, and then sailed due west to Guam, over 
which today the American flag is raised. On February 13, 
1565, the expedition reached the Philippines, after a voyage 
of less than three months, — ^in quicker time than Juan 
Rodr^ez had taken to go from the same port of Navidad to 
San Diego in Alta California! Indeed, the route westward 
across the Pacific offered comparatively few problems to the 
navigator. An establishment was made on the island of 
Cebii, whence the Spaniards proceeded to the conquest of 
the group. It was from Cebti that Urdaneta started back, 
and, indeed, it was not until 1571 that the Philippine gal- 
leon sailed from Manila, for it was in that year that the 
conquest reached the site which thenceforth served as the 
capital and metropolis of Spain's trans-Pacific possessions. 

The currents and seasonal storms would not permit of 
a return along the route whence they had come. So Urda- 
neta, who left Cebti on June 1, 1565, on his five hundred 
ton ship, went north to about SQ"* 30', and then crossed over, 
reaching the Baja California coast in 27** 12'. On October 
8 he arrived at Acapulco after a voyage of 129 days, in the 
course of which sixteen men had died. He was somewhat 
chagrined, no doubt, to find that another ship of his original 

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fleet had preceded him across the Pacific. This was the 
forty ton tender, commanded by one Arellano. Nine days 
out from Navidad on the westward voyage, Arellano had 
deserted, eager to find "rich islands'^ for his own advantage. 
On one occasion in the Philippines, where he too went, he was 
nearly discovered by Urdaneta's fleet. Only the small size 
of his ship saved him, for from the top of his mast he was 
able to see the ships of Urdaneta just above the horizon. 
Arellano had started the return voyage on April 22. He ran 
most of the time between 40'' and 43'', and is said to have 
reached the American shore about at Cape Mendocino, 
being possibly the discoverer of that point. On August 9 he 
came to anchor at Navidad, having thus completed the 
eastward voyage two months earlier and in twenty days 
less time than Urdaneta. Nevertheless, Urdaneta got the 
credit. As commander of the expedition and sponsor for the 
ideas which the deserter Arellano followed, Urdaneta was 
clearly entitled to the honor. 

In 1566 the first trading voyage of the galleon was madei 
but the account reads more like a romance of TrecLsure 
island than it does of a commercial venture. One Morguera 
preached mutiny among the men, and got amajorityof them 
to turn pirate. The plan was to get rich quickly in Chinese 
waters and then return to Europe for a life of ease and 
plenty. The men rose, and murdered their oflBcers, but 
Morguera himself was soon put to death, and another suc- 
ceeded to the command. At one of the Caroline Islands the 
majority disembarked to make it a suitable piratical base, 
leaving only a few men on board. Two of them, however, 
were the chaplain and the master's mate, who had not sym- 
pathized with the plot. They persuaded the others to help 
them get up the anchor and sail away, — ^and twenty-eight 
would-be pirates were left marooned on the island. 

In the early years of the trans-Pacific trade two or three 
ships crossed the ocean annually, but they were very small; 
down to 1571 they ranged from forty to eighty tons. Later, 
only one ship of five hundred tons or more made the yearly 
voyage, though the law restricted their size to three hun- 

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dred tons for a number of years, afterward raising the limit 
to five himdred. The galleon seems to have been a pictur- 
esque craft. According to one writer the galleons were: 

''huge round-stemmed, clumsy vessels, with bulwarks three or 
four feet thick, and built up at stem and stem like a castle."^ 

It was both merchant ship and war vessel, though the arma- 
ment would not now seem very terrifying; ordinarily there 
were three small cannon, four catapults to hurl stones with, 
and some fifty muskets. 

Down to 1593 there was little interference with the trade 
of the galleon, whose goods were sold at a remarkable profit 
in both New Spain and Perti. Gradually the merchants of 
Seville, who enjoyed a favored position in the trade with 
Spain's colonies, gained an impression that the commerce of 
the Manila ship was cutting into their profits, and in 1593 
succeeded in introducing a policy of restriction of the trade. 
According to them the sale of Chinese silks had ruined the 
silk industry in Spain, and pre-nineteenth centiuy economic 
views never for a moment considered the welfare of colonies 
if it clashed with the interests of the homeland. In addition 
to fixing the tonnage of the ships and the limitation of 
the number to one a year, many other obstructive meas- 
ures were taken. Only citizens of Manila could own or ship 
goods; the value at Manila was limited to $250,000, with a 
right of sale at Acapulco for $500,000; the trade was re- 
stricted to New Spain, and the merchants of Perti were 
excluded; the Philippines were forbidden to trade with 
China, where the silks were made; at times, even, the carry- 
ing of silk on the galleon was forbidden; and (because it 
was regarded as bad economics to let specie get out of the 
country) the amoimt of silver that could be taken on the 
westward voyage was reduced to small proportions. In prac- 
tice, every one of these restrictions was evaded, but there 
were periods of spasmodic enforcement of the law, and the 
evasion was only such as could be effected through the me- 

* Drake's viceHMimiral defined them in the hold two-fifths of the width; 
as ships with a keel three times its in other words, in a ratio of 15, 5, 
width m the middle, and with a depth and 2. 

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dium of the single ship. Thus the Philippines were held so 
much in check that they never became as truly Spanish as 
the other dominions of the empire. Probably, too, the lim- 
itation of the trade (thus reducing the demand for a port of 
refuge on the north Pacific coast) prevented an earlier occu- 
pation of Alta California, — a matter of great consequence in 
the light of the sequel I After 1734 some of the restrictions 
were removed, but the galleon remained an annual ship. 

The westward cargo of the galleon was light and of slight 
consequence, consisting mainly of small quantities of silver 
and articles of luxury. The eastward cargo, on the contrary, 
was remarkable alike in variety and in value; the boat was 
a veritable treasxire-house as it left Manila for the voyage to 
Acapulco.* By far the most important source of this cargo 
was China, which also furnished the most prized item, — 
silk. Lands as far away as India and Persia contributed some- 
thing to the store of the galleon. Chinese junks brought over 
the goods, and their cargoes were bought wholesale for the 
merchants of Manila; usually a yearns credit was granted, 
and the Philippine government gave its bond as security. 
The goods were distributed to residents of the Philippines 
according as they held boletas, or tickets, for space on the 
galleon. Many of the &ofeto-holders were in fact operating 
on behalf of merchants in New Spain, despite the provisions 
of the law to the contrary. The cargoes went as a whole, all 
profits and losses being shared according to the number of 
holetaa. Though papal bulls had been secured forbidding 
religious associations to engage in trade, this order was 
evaded in the Philippines as elsewhere, and the trustees of 
the Pious Fund made themselves a veritable banking society. 
The operations of this institution help to give some 
idea of the enormous profits of the trade. For example, a 
man with $10,000 could procure a loan of $40,000, thus get- 

* The following u a list of the num- the Moluccas 4, including the much 
ber of products from different lands valued spices; Persia 4; Ceylon 3; 

of the Far East: China 135; the Sulu Archipelago 2; and Cambodia 1 
Philippines 39; India 17; Siam 7; (gum). From America and Europe 

Japan 7; Borneo 6; Macao 6; Goa 5; 
Java 4, mcluding edible birds' nests; 

came a total of 44 different things. 

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ting $50^000 worth of space on the galleon. A successful 
voyage would, however, bring him in from $100,000 to 
$200,000, giving a fine return on his investment after paying 
his debt. Meanwhile he would be paying interest at the rate 
of perhaps 50 per cent. If the ship was lost, he could borrow 
another $50,000, without additional security, and if the 
second voyage were a success he would still be able to repay 
his loans, and have a profit of at least 100 per cent. 

It is no wonder that zeal for trade not infrequently out- 
ran due precaution. The galleon was often short of arma- 
ment, in order to make room for a few more bales of silk, 
and it was nearly always overladen. Consequently, there 
were many wrecks; at best, the voyage was extremely dan- 
gerous. Not only did the merchants of Manila, or their 
principals in New Spam, engage in trade, but also every 
man aboard ship had a financial stake in the voyage. 
Thus, salaries ranged from $4,125 for the commander, or 
" general,'* as he was called, down to $25 for a deck hand, 
but the commander might make as much as $40,000 from a 
single trip, and the other officers would profit to the extent 
of $20,000 or $30,000, while the lowliest sailor would mul- 
tiply his wage-earnings many times over. Though every 
voyage meant imminent risk of death, men faced wreck 
or scurvy, exposure or capture, and paid a good figure for 
the privilege of a position on the galleon. Arrived at Acapulco 
the cargo was inspected and officially valued at its 
$500,000 limit (though it might reach many thousands be- 
yond that), the duties were collected, and a great fair was 
held. This was exceeded in size by the fairs of Vera Cruz 
and Jalapa, but the profits at Acapulco were richer. The law 
allowed a profit of 100 per cent, but usually the actual gains 
may have reached from 150 to 200 per cent; the profit on 
silk was as high as 400 per cent. 

An interesting phase of the history of the galleon was 
the passenger service. Missionaries were sent over from New 
Spain, and returned to that kingdom when relieved from duty. 
Their life aboard ship was not always happy, for the officers 
of the galleon reflected a feeling which many in the Philip- 

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pines had that soldiers and merchants were more needed 
there th$ai missionaries. Then, too, on the return voyage 
they occupied valuable space which otherwise might serve 
for cargo! Troops to guard the ship and to supply the needs 
of the Philippine garrison were also carried. The service in 
the Philippines was so distasteful, however, that ingenious 
methods were often resorted to to get volunteers. Making 
capital out of the universal vice of gambling in New Spain, 
recruiting officers would go about playing five dollars 
against a man's enlistment, and sooner or later they would 
get their man. Philippine government officials traveled on 
the galleon, and stowaways were often found on the voyage 
Srom the Philippines, but rarely if ever to there. Passengers 
proi)er consisted mainly of Mexican and at times Peruvian 
merchants. A paternalistic law required them to take their 
wives, lest they commit bigamy, or else to promise to return 
home within a stipulated time. Since bachelors could only 
take $150 in private property with them, while married men 
might take $300 worth, there was a certain financial advan- 
tage in being accompanied by one's helpmeet, — ^though it is 
doubtful if the limitation was very strictly enforced. The 
fare seems often to have been a private venture of the offi- 
cers, who took the passage-money for themselves and pro- 
vided for the maintenance of the passenger out of their own 
stock of supplies. 

There was a great difference in the nature of the voyage 
itself by the westward and the eastward routes. The west- 
ward voyage was comparatively easy, requiring from two 
to three months, according to the amount of delay necessi- 
tated in threading the difficult Philippines group itself. 
Having found a satisfactory route, the Spaniards followed 
it steadily for 250 years. Passing through a veritable ocean 
of islands, the Hawaiian among others, they did not sight 
land until they reached the Carolines or the Ladrones, and 
never discovered the other groups along the way. The 
eastward voyage was one of the most perilous that the 
world knew. In the voyage of 1697-1698 Gemelli Careri, an 
Italian taraveler, was a passenger from Manila to Acapulco, 

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and, fortunately for posterity, wrote a full account of his 
journey across the Pacific. According to the translation in 
Churchill's Collection of voyages and travels, this is what that 
experienced globe-trotter had to say: 

"The voyge from the Philippine islands to America may be 
call'd the longest, and most dreadful of any in the world ; as well 
because of the vast ocean to be cross'd, being almost the one half 
of the terraqueous globe, with the wind always a-head; as for the 
terrible tempests that happen there, one upon the back of an- 
other, and for the desperate diseases that seize people, in seven or 
eight months lying at sea, sometimes near the line, sometimes 
cold, sometimes temperate, and sometimes hot, which is enough 
to destroy a man of steel, much more flesh and blood, which at 
sea had but indifferent food." 

In the first place, a departure from Manila had to be 
made before the end of June, for a later sailing meant that 
they would be caught in the terrific typhoons which occurred 
shortly afterward. Getting out of the Philippine Islands 
was one of the most dangerous tasks, and it often took as 
much as six weeks to do that alone. Between the Ladrones 
and northern Japan incessant storms were encountered, and 
not a few vessels were wrecked. If they went ashore in 
Japan they were in danger of being plundered. It was 
largely on this account that the Spaniards were for a while so 
eager to find two imaginary islands which they called '* Rica 
de Oro" and "Rica de Plata,'* as a way-station in which to 
refit without being under the necessity of touching in Japan. 
Turning eastward they ran with the Japan Current along 
the fortieth parallel (though at times they got as far 
north as 47**), until they saw signs indicating that they were 
approaching the North American coast. Then they turned 
gradually toward the south. Sometimes they sighted the 
coast as far north as Cape Mendocino, while at others Baja 
California was the first land they saw. Usually, however, 
they first approached the shore in the vicinity of Monterey. 
As they neared the coast there was a time of great hazards 
on account of the bad weather, cold, fog, and the variety of 

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The voyage of Gemelli Careri took 204 days and 5 hours, 
or almost seven months, — about the usual tune. For over 
five months of this time the galleon was on the high seas, 
without making a single stop or coming to anchor. Natur- 
ally, there were many unpleasant incidents, aside from the 
dangers of the storms, in such a long voyage. It may be 
presumed that sea sickness gave some the same sort of a 
disagreeable sensation that it does to many today. Further- 
more, there was no opportunity to promenade, as on a 
present-day ocean liner. Space was far too valuable to be 
wasted on any such luxury. Indeed, there was often not 
room enough below decks to sleep. Cramped quarters 
rarely improve dispositions, and the Manila galleon wit- 
nessed its share of quarreling. On one occasion, said Gemelli, 

"the pilot's mate had some words with a passenger he carry'd 
over on his own account, who complaining that his table was too 
poor, the other struck lum on the face, and then run after him 
with a knife." 

For punishment both men were obliged to "stand some 
hours in the bilboes," but there is no record of any further 
protest by this particular passenger. Gemelli confided to his 
journal, however, his own distaste for the food and for the 
hardships of the voyage in general: 

"The poor people stow'd in the cabbins of the galeon bound 
towards the Land of Promise of New Spain, endure no less hardships 
than the children of Israel did, when they went from Egypt towards 
Palestine. There is hunger, thirst, sickness, cold, continual watch- 
ing [wakefulness], and other sufferings; besides the terrible shocks 
from side to side, caus'd by the furious beating of the waves. I 
may further say they endure all the plagues God sent upon Pharaoh 
to soften his hard heart; for if he was infected with leprosy, the 
galeon is never clear of an universal raging itch, as an addition 
to all other miseries. If the air then was fill'd with gnats; the 
ship swarms with little vermine, the Spaniards call Oorgojos, bred 
in the bisket; so swift that they in a short time not only run over 
cabins, beds, and the very dishes the men eat on, but insensibly 
fasten upon the body. Instead of the locusts, there are several 
other sorts of vermin of sundry colours, that suck the blood. 
Abundance of flies fall into the dishes of brolix. in which there also 

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8wim worms of several sorts. In short, if Moaea miraculously con- 
verted his rod into a 8e[r]pent; aboard the galeon a piece of flesh, 
without any miracle, is converted into wood, and in the shape of a 
serpent. I had a good shs^re in these misfortunes; for the boat- 
swain, with whom I had agreed for my diet, as he had fowls at his 
table the first days, so when we were out at sea he made me fast 
after the Armenian manner^, having banish'd from his table all 
wine, oil and vinegar; dressing his fish with fair water and salt. 
Upon flesh days he gave me Tassajos FriioSf that is, steaks of beef 
or buffalo, dry'd in the sun or wind, which are so hard that it is 
impossible to eat them, without they are first well beaten like stock- 
fish; nor is there any digesting them without the help of a purge. 
At dinner another piece of that same sticky flesh was boilM, with- 
out any other sauce but its own hardness, and fair water. At last 
he deprived me of the satisfaction of gnawing a good bisket, be- 
cause he would spend no more of his own, but laid the king's allow- 
ance on the table; in every mouthful whereof there went down 
abundance of meiggots and Gorgojoa chewed and bruis'd. On fish 
days the common diet was old rcmk fish boil'd in fair water and salt ; 
at noon we had Mangos, something like kidney beans, in which 
there were so many maggots, that they swam at top of the broth, 
and the quantity was so great, that besides the loathing they 
caus'd, I doubted whether the dinner was fish or flesh. This bitter 
fare was sweeten'd after dinner with a little water and sugar; yet 
the allowance was but a small cocoa shell full, which rather in- 
creas'd than quench'd drought. Providence relieved us for a month 
with sharks and cachcrreiaa the seamen caught, which, either boil'd 
or broil'd, were some comfort. Yet he is to be pitjr'd who has an- 
other at lus table; for the tediousness of the voyage is the cause of 
all these hardships. 'Tis certain, they that take this upon them, 
lay out thousands of pieces of eight, in making the necessary pro- 
vision of flesh, fowl, fish, bisket, rice, sweetmeats, chocolate, and 
other things; and the quantity is so great, that diuing the whole 
voyage, they never fail of sweetmeats at table, and chocolate twice 
a day; of which last the sailors and gnmunets make as great a con- 
simiption, as the richest. Yet at last the tediousness of the voyage 
makes an end of all; and the more, because in a short time all the 
provisions grew naught, except the sweetmeats and chocolate^ 
which are the only comfort of passengers." 

This statement was not overdrawn* The food was bad 
primarily because of the "tediousness," or length, of the 
voyage, but there was also scant variety, and vegetables 
and fruits were little or not at all in evidence. The water, 
too, was not always good. Sometimes, it ran low, for only 

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enough was carried to last until the next expected rain, so 
as to yield more space for cargo. For the same reason, the 
water-barrels were often himg in the rigging, at the mercy 
of wind and storm, wherefore it was likely to get salt. 

Under all these circumstances the galleon soon became a 
floating hospital, with the men in various stages of sick- 
ness from the scurvy and kindred ills. The death rate was 
incredibly high. As the galleon neared the California coast 
one after another would give in to the disease and be cast 
overboard when he died. 

There were some amenities, however. Now and then, they 
danced, — for Spanish dances can be danced in one place, 
without the need of a smooth floor; hence this interfered in 
no way with the cargo. Frequently there were impromptu 
plays and charades, and always they gambled. Cock-fights 
furnished a great mediimi for gambling in the early stages 
of the voyage, — and at such times there were chicken din- 
ners. The men caught sharks and cachorreias while the ves- 
sel was in full flight by hanging out a rag flying-fish for them 
to jump at. When they had their fill of eating these mon- 
sters of the sea, they would have cruel sport with them. 
Thus says Gemelli: 

"One great one was thrown into the sea again with a board tied 
to his tail, . . . and it was pleasant to see him swim about with- 
out being able to dive down. Two others were ty'd together by 
the tails, one of them being first blinded, and then beiog cast ioto 
the sea, the blind one oppos'd the other that would have drawn 
him down, thinking himself taken." 

As soon as the '^senales/' or signs of land, were noticed, as 
they approached the California coast, the sailors held a mock 
trial in which they brought humorous charges against the 
oflSicers and passengers. All were sentenced to death, but 
were permitted to buy themselves off with money, sweet- 
meats, wine, or the like. According to GemelU: 

"he who did not pay immediately, or give good security, was laid 
on with a rope's end at the least sign given by the president-tar- 
paulin. I was told a passenger was once kill'd aboard a galeon, by 
keel-haling him." 

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At length the galleon pulled into Acapulco, where it 
anchored under the fort and (at least in the erase of the voy- 
age which has been so often referred to in the present ac- 
count) made fast to the shore by means of a rope which was 
tied around a tree I 

After 1734, with the gradual removal of restrictions on 
conmierce, the importance of the galleon diminished. For- 
eign ships began to trade at Manila, though until 1789 this 
was against the law. In 1763 direct trade between Spain 
and the Philippmes around the Cape of Good Hope was in- 
stituted. In 1785 the Philippine Company was established, 
and was granted the privilege of trading with Manila from 
Spain and of carrying goods directly between the PhiUp- 
pines and South America. The islands gained as a result, 
but not so the galleon. Finally, the merchants of Manila 
themselves asked for the abolition of the galleon service 
and for permission in its place for private-owned ships, as 
well as those of the Company, to trade with Spain or the 
colonies. The request was granted, and in 1815, after quarter 
of a thousand years, the sailings of the galleon were aban- 

The relation of California to the galleon is almost as 
long a story as is that of the galleon itself. Many allusions 
will hereafter be made, but the gist of the tale may be given 
here. Except for a few outstanding voyages, the only ships 
which visited Alta California prior to 1769 were those from 
Manila, and they came every year. Yet, precise information 
of their voyages is lacking; indeed, after Urdaneta only Gali 
in 1584, Rodrfguez Cermenho in 1595, and Gemelli Careri 
in 1697* have left any known record of visits to Alta Cali- 
fornia shores, though a work of navigation by Gonzdlez 
Cabrera Bueno, published in 1734, gives a fairly accurate 
description of the coast, except for the omission of San 
Francisco Bay, and tells how the galleon usually sighted the 
region of Monterey. The Vizcaino expedition of 1602-1603 
(of which, later) had as one of its principal causes the dis- 

'The Gali and RodrfKuez Cer- Chapter X. Gemelli first came to land 
mAoho Toyages will be taucen up in at Catalina Island. 

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covery of a port which could serve as a suitable way-station 
for the galleon^ and this matter was agitated for the next 
hundred and fifty years, being one of the important motives 
for an advance of the Spanish conquest to Monterey. In 
1734 the galleon stopped in Baja California, and thereafter 
did so occasionally at other times. In 1775 orders were given 
that the galleon must stop at Monterey, under penalty of a 
fine on the commander, but it would seem that it rarely did 
so. In any event it was forbidden to trade in Alta California. 
However little documentary evidence of actual voyages 
down the coast may ever be found, the importance of the 
galleon in promoting Spanish conquests toward Alta Cali- 
fornia demands emphasis. A way-station was desired, not 
merely to allow men to recover their health and repair the 
ship, but also to send word of their coming and to receive 
it in turn of the presence of pirates or foreign enemies in 
those seas, if any there were, — for at least in the seventeenth 
century this was one of the grave but altogether too cus- 
tomary perils of the last stages of the voyage.* 

^The principal materialB used in 
the preparation of this chapter were 
the following: 

1. Careri, Giovanni Francesco Ge- 
melu. A voyage round the 
toorld hy Dr, John Francis 
Gemeili Carerif tr. fr. orig. It. 
in A coUecHon of voyages and 
travele, ed. by Awnsham and 

John Churchill, v. IV (Lon- 
don. 1752), 453-473. 

Schurz. William Lytle. A study 
in the beginnings of trans- 
pacific trade. Berkeley, Ctdi- 
fomia. 1912. Ms.(Ph.D. 
thesis) in the Library of the 
University of California. 

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Califobnians have long known of and been interested in 
the visit to their shores in 1579 of the world-famous navi- 
gator Drake, afterwards Sir Francis Drake. Neither they 
nor others, however, have been wont to realize the full signi- 
ficance of this event from the English standpoint on the 
one hand or the Spanish on the other. In truth, here was the 
first ''New England" in North America, not alone in the 
name "Nova (New) Albion" which Drake applied, but also 
in the deliberate intent then and thereafter to create a great 
English empire in the Americas around the nucleus of 
Drake's CaUfomia discoveries. The plan failed to mature, 
but the achievements of Drake and, later, of his fellow- 
countryman Thomas Cavendish stimulated the Spaniards 
to great efforts which materially furthered their program of 
an advance up the Pacific coast and into the Calif omias. 

The story finds a logical place in the great world events 
of the sixteenth century which can only be allucted to briefly 
here. Spain and England, even when not at war, were bit- 
terly hostile to each other during most of that century and 
especially so in the reign of Queen Elizabeth of England 
(1558-1603). Spain was the great power of Europe and the 
world, the uncompromising champion of Catholicism in an 
age of violent religious differences, and the sole occupant of 
the treasure-house of the Americas. England, though rising 
to a position of greatness, was scarcely to be considered as 
equal in strength to Spain, was Protestant and anti-Catholic, 
and was particularly displeased with Spain^s pretensions not 
only to the sovereignty but also to the exclusive trade of the 
New World. Thus English mariners, with the secret or even 


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the open backing of the royal authorities, made voyages to 
the Americas to smuggle goods into Spanish colonies or cap- 
ture Spanish ships and plunder their towns. There was what 
amounted to a perpetual warf are, though in Europe the two 
peoples were for the first thirty years of Elizabeth's reign 
outwardly at peace. 

Greatest of the earlier sailors of this period was John 
Hawkins, imder whom Drake received his training. In 
1568 the fleet of John Hawkins came to grief in the port of 
Vera Cruz when it was attacked by the Spaniards in contra- 
vention of what the survivors claimed was their plighted 
word. On this occasion Drake indeed escaped capture, but 
lost some seven thousand ducats, all that he possessed, 
which he had embarked in Hawkins' venture. Filled with 
hate for the enemy whom he regarded as having treacher- 
ously deprived him of his fortune, Drake swore an oath to be 
revenged. Never was an oath more faithfully and completely 
kept. During the remainder of his life he collected the debt 
many times over, and was a veritable scourge of Spain. In 
1573 he made an inland journey nearly across the Isthmus 
of Panamfi, with a view to capturing the Spanish treasure 
coming that way from Peril. Reaching the continental 
divide he climbed a tree and saw before him, for the first 
time, the waters of the Pacific. As he told his old comrade, 
John Oxenham, he "besought Almighty God of His goodness 
to give him*lif e and leave to sail once in an English ship in 
that sea." This wish developed to the proportions of a vow, 
for from that time forward Drake was resolved to find a way 
to accomplish his desire. Five years later the chance came. 
Meanwhile, in 1575, Oxenham had crossed Panama and built 
a pinnace which sailed in the Pacific, thus depriving Drake of 
the glory of being the first Englishman to navigate those 
seas, but Oxenham's party was captured by the Spaniards. 

It was in the years 1577 to 1580 that Drake made his 
famous voyage around the world, stopping in California in 
1579 on the way. One of the moot points about this voyage 
has been the question whether Drake had the formal authori- 
zation of his sovereign for the undertaking or whether he 

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was to be considered a pirate. No instructions of the royal 
government are extant^ but there is such an overwhehning 
array of circiunstantial evidence that there can no longer be 
a reasonable doubt but that he went forth in the royal 
service. Though Spain and England were not formally at 
war, the English queen had many scores against Spain which 
she was only too ready to pay oflf, if opportunity should 
offer. To mention but a single thing, there were constant 
plots against her life, and the queen well knew that Philip II 
of Spain was cognizant of them, if not indeed the directing 
hand. She therefore resolved to pay Spain back in her own 
coin by dealing a series of underhanded blows whereby she 
could get satisfaction and at the same time profit for the 
crown. The Earl of Essex reconamended Drake to her as a 
man well fitted to serve her against Spain, and Drake was 
granted an interview with the queen. Elizabeth seemed de- 
sirous of some sort of descent upon the Spanish peninsula 
itself, but Drake 

"told her Maiestie of the smale good that was to be done in Spajme, 
but thonly waye was to anoy hym by his Indyes." 

It would seem that Drake then proposed that he should 
make a voyage into the Pacific to plunder and destroy Span- 
ish ships and cities there (thus to "anoy" the king of Spain) 
and to take possession for his queen of all lands not occupied 
already by a Christian prince. Then, if possible, he was to 
return to England by way of the strait through North Amer- 
ica, if he could find it, or otherwise by sailing around the 
world. The evidence for this is not direct, but Drake often 
stated that he sailed by the queen's commission. Accord- 
ing to the testimony of a Portuguese pilot whom he took 
prisoner and later released : 

"He told all those whom he captured . . . that he came in the 
service of his sovereign the queen, whose instructions he carried 
and obeyed, and that he had come more for another purpose than 
that of taking ships.'' 

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Furthermore, his ship was fitted out in a way to make 
an impression, beyond anything that was required of an 
ordinary buccaneering adventure, for 

"neither did he omit to make provision also for ornament or de- 
Ught, carrying to this purpose with him expert musitians, rich fur- 
niture (all the vessels for his table, yea, many belonging even to the 
Cooke-room being of pure silver) and divers shewes of all sorts of 
curious workmanship, whereby the civilitie and magnificense of 
his native countrie might, amongst the nations whithersoever he 
should come, be the more admired.'' 

Elizabeth herself seems to have given him some of the 
*' dainties and perfumed waters" with which he was supplied. 
In keeping with all this magnificence, Drake had gorgeous 
uniforms, observed almost royal state on his ship, and was 
attended by a number of gentlemen of the best families in 
England. These matters have a bearing on the plans that 
occasioned, and also grew out of, Drake's visit to Cali- 

In November 1577 Drake left England at the head of a 
fleet of five ships. The largest was the Pelican^ a vessel of 
only a hundred tons, subsequently renamed the Golden Hind 
when Drake reached the Pacific. In all five ships there was a 
total of 164 men. Of the early hardships he encountered 
and of his experiences in South and Central America there 
is little need here to telL He entered the Pacific in Septem- 
ber 1578. Sailing northward, with only his flagship left to 
him, he attacked Spanish towns and ships, until he had a 
treasure that filled the vessel to its capacity. Proceeding to 
New Spain he stopped at Guatulco in Oaxaca. Here he put 
ashore the last of the prisoners he had taken, except for 
three negroes, and procured supplies. He had sufficiently 
worried King Philip, but the principal business of the voyage 
remained to perform. He wished now to find suitable lands 
for British colonies and the way of escape from the Spaniards* 
through the strait, and the fewer witnesses he had with him, 
the better. Leaving Guatulco on April 16, 1579, Drake went 
well out to sea, and headed toward the unknown waters of 
the north. 

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There is a dispute as to the farthest north Drake reached, 
a dispute which was of international significance down to 
the Oregon Treaty of 1846 between Great Britain and the 
Unites States. The British claim was based largely on their 
contention that Drake had discovered the coast above 42® 
(the present northern boundary of California) to 48*. The 
international dispute having long since been settled, it has 
been possible to investigate the matter objectively, and the 
consensus of opinion has been in favor of 42*. George 
Davidson, who knew the Pacific coast as well as any man 
that ever lived, held that Drake stopped between 42* and 
43* at Chetko Cove in 42*, 3', just over the Califomia line 
in present-day Qr^on. He was therefore the probable dis- 
coverer of that state, for it is unlikely that Ferrelo saw the 
coast so far north. It is true that the claim for the higher 
latitude was based on accounts of those who made the 
voyage, together with their comments on the extraordinary 
cold they experienced and the snow they saw on the moun- 
tains. But these very accounts are inconsistent in them- 
selves, and the remarks about the cold were applied equally 
to what all recognize as the Califomia coast and to the 
supposedly more northern climes. Thus, John Drake (a 
cousin of the commander), who was on the Golden Hindy 
had this to say in 1584, when questioned by Spanish officials 
of the Rfo de la Plata: 

"they sailed out at sea . . . until they reached 48 degrees north 
. . . Captain Francis gave the land that is situated in 48 degrees 
the name of New Engkind. They were there a month and a half, 
taking in water and wood and repairing their ship.'' 

In 1587 the same John Drake made the following declara- 
tion before the Inquisition of Lima: 

''Then they left [Guatuico] and sailed . . . until they reached 
forty-four degrees, when the wind changed and he [Drake, the 
commander] went to the Califomias, where he discovered land in 
forty-eight d^rees. There he landed and built huts and remained 
for a month and a half.'' 

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Another account, presumably by a sailor on the voyage, 
made 48^ the farthest north, and spoke of landing in 44''. 
The chaplain of the Golden Hind, Francis Fletcher, whose 
narrative is the principal account of the voyage that has 
survived, said that they were in 42* on June 3. Two days 
later the contrary winds forced them to shore, where they 
"cast anchor in a bad bay," which Davidson identifies as 
Chetko Cove. This was their farthest north, and according 
to Fletcher they were in 48**. Thus in two days, against 
contrary winds and the Japan Current, they must have sailed 
over four himdred miles! If that rate had been maintained 
since leaving Guatulco they would have gone 10,000 miles! 
It would seem, therefore, that the latitudes given were all 
too high. Richard Hakluyt, the immortal collector of 
narratives on voyages and a contemporary of Drake, gave 
42'' as the northerly limit, changing at a later time to 43**. 
Davidson's views, already referred to, may be accepted for 
the present as most likely to have represented the truth.* 
Incidentally, it was to Drake's interest to state the latitude 
as high as he could, not only for the glory that would accrue 
to him as the discoverer, but also and perhaps more especially 
to excuse his failure to continue the search for the strait. 
According to the testimony of the Portuguese pilot whom he 
put ashore at Guatulco, Drake had told him that he was 
under orders to go as far north as 66'' before abandoning 
the attempt to discover the strait. 

Chaplain Fletcher, whom Drake once described as "Ye 
falsest knave that liveth," seems to have justified his com- 
mander's reflections on his veracity in his comments about 
the cold oflf the California coast. According to Fletcher 

"the very roapes of our ship were stiffe, and the raine which fell 
was an vnnatural congealed and frozen substance . . . though 
sea-men lack not good stomaches, yet it seemed a question to many 

^ The most extravasant view is ever, the credit, accorded to him by 
that taken recently by Af rs. NuttalL contemporary poets [notably by the 
According to her, "Drake ventured Spaniard Lope de Vega], of having 
so far north that even he dared go sighted the North as well as the South 
no further, and was forced to turn Pole." In the absence of Mrs. Nut- 
back on accoimt of the intense cold tali's proofs, it is impossible as yet to 
and ice he encoimtered, earning, how* accept her conclusions. 

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amongst vs, whether their hands should feed their mouthes, or 
rather keepe themselues within their couerts from the pinching 
cold which did benumme them . . . our meate, as soone as it was 
remooued from the fire, would presently in a manner be frozen vp 
. . . euery hill (whereof we saw many, but none verie high), 
though it were in June, and the sunne in his neerest approch vnto 
them, being couered with snow." 

Referring to their disagreeable position in the "bad bay'* 
(Chetko Cove), Fletcher says: 

"wee were not without some danger by reason of the many ex- 
treme gusts and flawes that beate vpon vs, which if they ceased 
and were still at any time, immediately upon their intermission 
there followed most uile, thicke, and stinking fogges." 

One might indeed have wondered if they had not touched 
the Arctic Zone, were it not that the chaplain used the same 
extreme language in describing the cold at Drake's landing- 
place in 38°, clearly within Alta California. Suffice to say 
that the natives, the birds, and the very land itself shivered 
with the cold, and there is more about "thicke mists and most 
stinking fogges," and the "nipping cold" of a California 
June and Julyl It is, of course, clear to Calif omians how 
these statements came to be made. The fogs of the sunmier 
along the northern coast do indeed seem cold to one who is 
not acclimated; miany a man from the east of the United 
States will shiver through his first summer, but rarely 
afterward. It may well have seemed worse to Drake and his 
men who had for a long time been in the tropics. John 
Drake says nothing of the cold, and gives no hint that they 
had reached a far northern clime. 

At any rate, Drake turned south soon after he first sighted 
land, being forced back by the contrary winds, according to 
Fletcher. Perhaps the principal reason for his return, or at 
least for his failure to resume the northward voyage, was 
that the coast ran so continuously to the northwest that he 
and his men began to believe that North America was 
"ioyned" to Asia or "very neere" it, and therefore there was 
scant probability of a strait. So the ship went south along 
the California coast, and, as Fletcher puts it, 

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''In 38 deg. 31 min. we fell with a conuenient and fit harborough, 
and June 17 came to anchor therein, where we continued till Uie 
23 day of July following." 

It is now generally agreed that this was Drake's Bay, but 
for a long time many held that the stop was made in San 
Francisco Bay, a little farther south, while others contended 
in favor of Bodega Bay, a few miles to the north. The 
Spaniards always said that Drake stopped in the "Bay of San 
Francisco,'' but this was the only possible argument for 
that port, as the description of Dndce's stopping-place in 
no way tallied with that of San Francisco Bay. When it 
developed that the "Bay of San Francisco" was for nearly 
two centuries the Spanish name for Drake's Bay, while the 
bay now so called was unknown to them, the argument for 
San Francisco Bay was dropped. Bodega Bay is not a 
"conuenient and fit harborough," for it is open to the 
westerly winds, and no ship like Drake's could have stayed 
there thirty-six days. Drake's Bay is small, but it might 
well have been deemed a good port, and, besides, it has 
"the white bancks and cliffes, which lie toward the sea," 
referred to in the description given by Fletcher. 

On the day following their arrival they were harangued 
three times by an Indian in a canoe, who made a great show 
of reverence and submission. The Indians in general seemed 
to be in a state of wonderment about the ship, which was the 
first, so far as is known, that had ever stopped there, though 
Ferrelo's expedition and, no doubt, a number of the galleons 
had in previous years passed within sight of the shore. Three 
days later Drake moved his ship farther in, that he might 
repair a leak, and landed his men, but took the precaution 
of making a rough fort for their protection, and set up tents 
to sleep in. The Indians, however, were very submissive, 
and showed plainly that they looked upon Drake and his 
men as gods, despite the attempts of the latter to persuade 
them that they were not. The Englishmen on their part 
were interested in the customs of the Indians, their wigwam 
homes, their dress (or lack of it), and the rude presents that 
they brought. During two days the Indians stayed away, 

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but then they came with a great concourse from neighboring 
towns and with gifts, or, as they seemed to Drake's men, 
''sacrifices, vpon this perswasion that we were gods." 

"When they came to the top of the hfll, at the bottom whereof 
wee had built our fort, they made a stand; where one (appointed 
as their chiefe speaker) wearied both vs his hearers, and himselfe 
too, with a long and tedious oration; deliuered with strange and 
violent gestures, his voice being extended to the vttermost strength 
of nature, and his wordes fallmg so thicke one in the neckeof an- 
other, that he could hardly fetch his breath againe: as soone as he 
had concluded, all the rest, with a reuerend bowing of their bodies 
(in a dreaming manner, and long producing of the same) cryed 
Oh: thereby giuing their consents that all was veiy true which he 
had spoken, and that they had vttered their minde by his mouth 
vnto vs; which done, the men laying downe their bowes vpon the 
hill, and leaning their women and children behinde them, came 
downe with their presents; in such sort as if they had appeared 
before a God indeed, thinking themselues happy that they might 
haue accesse vnto our General, but much more happy when they 
sawe that he would receiue at their hands those things which they 
so willingly had presented: and no doubt they thou^t them- 
selues neerest vnto God when they sate or stood next to hun. 
In the meane time the women, as if they had beene desperate, 
vsed vnnatural violence against themselues, cr3dng and shrieking 
piteously y tearing their flesh with their nailes from their cheekes in 
a monstrous manner, the blood streaming downe along their 
brests, besides despoiling the vpper parts of their bodies of those 
single couerings they formerly had, and holding their hands aboue 
their heads that they might not rescue their brests from harme, 
they would with furie cast themselues vpon the ground, neuer 
respecting whether it were cleane or soft, but dashed themselues 
in this manner on hard stones, knobby hillocks, stocks of wood, 
and pricking bushes, or whateuer else lay in their way, itterating 
the same course againe and againe; yea women great with child, 
some nine or ten times each, and others holding out till 15 or 16 
times (till their strengths failed them) exercised this cruelty 
against themselues: a thing more grieuous for vs to see or suffer, 
could we haue holpe it, then trouble to them (as it seemed) to do 
it. This bloudie sacrifice (against our wils) beeing thus performed, 
our Generall, with his companie, in the presence of those strangers, 
fell to prayers; and by signes in lifting vp our eyes and hands to 
heauen, signified vnto them that that God whom we did seme, and 
whom they ought to worship, was aboue; beseeching God, if it 
were his good pleasure, to open by some meanes their blinded eyes. 

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that they might in due time be called to the knowledge of him, the 
true and euerliuing God, and of Jesus Christ whom he hath sent, 
the saluation of the Gentiles. In the time of which prayers, sing- 
ing of Psalmes, and reading of certaine Chapters in the Bible, they 
sate VCTy attentiuely: and obseming the end at euery pause, with 
one voice still cried, Oh, greatly reioycing in our exercises. Yea 
they tooke such pleasure in our singing of Psalmes, that whensoeuer 
they resorted to vs, their first request was commonly this, Gnaah, 
by which they intreated that we would sing. 

Our Generall hauing now bestowed vpon them diuers things, at 
their departure they restored them all againe, none carrying with 
him anything of whatsoeuer hee had receiued, thinking themselues 
sufficiently enriched and happie that they had found so free ac- 
cesse to see vs." 

Three days later the "Hi6h," or, as Drake's men under- 
stood it, the king of all that country, came to visit them. 
On this occasion there were a number of long, unintelligible 
speeches and religious songs and dances by the Indians, 
after which, as Fletcher asserts, they offered Drake the 
sceptre and the crown, even the Hi6h joining in, 

''making signes that they would resigne vnto him their right and 
title in the whole land, and become his vassals in themselues and 
their posterities . . • Wherefore, in the name and to the vse of 
her most excellent maiesty, he tooke the scepter, crowne, and dig- 
nity of the sayd countrie into his hand.'' 

The ceremony was described at great length, and was re- 
lied upon by the English government nearly three centuries 
later in part substantiation of its claim to the northwest 
coast. It is now generally held that the Indians, who had 
not the faintest conception of the meaning of sovereignty, 
were going through the ceremony of the peace-pipe, 
admitting Drake to membership in the tribe. 
After this was over, 

''the common sort, both of men and women, leaning the king 
and his guard about him, with our Generall, dispersed themselues 
among our people, taking a diligent view or suruey of euery man; 
and finding such as pleased their fancies (which commonly were the 
youngest of vs), they presently enclosing them about off red their 
sacrifices vnto them, crying out with lamentable shreekes and 
moanes, weeping and scratching and tearing their very flesh off 

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their faces with their nailes; neither were it the women alone 
which did this, but euen old men, roaring and crying out, were as 
violent as the women were." 

In the course of the long stay at this port Drake and some 
of his company miade an inland journey, but whether for 
several days or only for a few hours the record does not say. 
They found it to be 

"farre different from the shoare, a goodly country, and fruitful! 
soyle, stored with many blessings fit for the vse of man." 

Among other things they saw "very large and fat Deere 
... by thousands" and "a multitude of a strange kinde 
of Conies." They seem not to have set eyes upon San 
Francisco Bay, for there is no reference to such a body of 
water in the records of their sojourn. Drake called the 
country "Nova Albion," induced to this course by the 
"white bancks and cliffes, which lie toward the sea," but 
more particularly, it may be imagined, 

"that it might haue some affinity, euen in name also, with our 
own coimtry [England], which was sometime so called." 

Drake also took good care to set up a monument claiming 
title to that kingdom for Queen Elizabeth and her successors. 

At length, the time for departure was at hand, and when 
the Indians perceived that the Englishmen were going they 
were filled with grief, and renewed their sacrifices. They 
made signs indicating that they hoped to be remembered 
and wished that the Englishmen would return some day. 
As the Golden Hind went out of the port, July 23, 1579, they 
lighted beacon fires on the hills. 

The next day, Drake was at the Farallone Islands, un- 
aware how near he was to the great port of the west. Here is 
the narrative of that day: 

"Not farre without this harborough [Drake's Bay] did lye cer- 
taine Hands (we called them the Hands of Saint James) ^ hauing on 
them plentifull and great store of Scales and birds, with one of 
which wee fell July 24, whereon we foimd such prouision as might 
competently seme our tume for a while. We departed againe the 
day next following, viz., July 25." 

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Drake's further adventures may be rapidly passed over. 
He steered across the Pacific, and for sixty-eight days was 
out of sight of land. At length he reached the Philippines 
and the Moluccas, and then sailed on around the Cape of 
Good Hope to England. On one occasion an event happened 
which is at once illustrative of Drake's luck and of the perils 
of the sea. While under full sail in an open sea at night, the 
Golden Hind ran aground and stuck fast. Yet, all around, 
when soundings were taken, they could not find bottom. 
When day came it proved that the ship had run upon a 
shelving bit of rock, possibly the peak of a prehistoric 
mountain. They had come upon it at high tide, and now 
that the tide had fallen their chance of getting off seemed 
worse than ever. The ship fell over on its side and then — 
when death was all but upon them — ^the keel was loosed 
and the vessel rolled off into deep water 1 On September 
26, 1580, with one ship out of five that he had started with, 
and about fifty men out of an original 164, Drake sailed into 
Plymouth, England. He had taken two years and nearly 
ten months for the voyage, in the course of which he had 
circumnavigated the globe. The Golden Hind was the 
second ship which had achieved this distinction, and Drake 
was the first individual who had made the entire voyage as 
commander of his ship. 

These then are the facts concerning Drake's visit to Cali- 
fornia, but the story does not end here. As has already been 
intimated, Drake and the queen seem definitely to have 
planned the establishment of a colonial empire in the 
Americas in rivalry to that of Spain. Drake believed that 
in "New Albion" he had found a satisfactory nucleus for the 
attempt, thinking (though, of course, mistakenly) that 

"The Spaniards neuer had any dealing, or so much as set a footp 
in thia country, the vtmost of their discoueries reaching onely to 
many degrees Southward of this place." 

His treatment of the Indians, too, seems to have been 
founded on a deliberate intention of attracting them to 
English rule and the Protestant faith, in contrast to the 

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virtual enslavement to which the Spaniards and Portuguese 
had subjected the natives. Drake dreamed of an English 
New Spain or Perd in California — and surely the equivalent 
was there! — ^holding that 

"there is no part of the earth here to bee taken up, wherein 
there is not some special likelihood of gold or silver/' 

Queen Elizabeth herself joined him in this speculation, and 
a project was drawn up in exact imitation of the practices of 
Spain. This document, which was headed 

"A proiect of a corporation of soche as shall venteur vnto soche 
domynions and contreys sytuate bayonde the equynoctyall hne/' 

m^ts insertion here. It reads as follows: 

"Imprimis y* yt may please herr Ma*** to graunt lyke pvyleges 
as have bene graunted by herr H' and her progenytors vnto her 
subiectes tradyng into the domynions of the Eknperor of Russia. 

Item that in consyderatyon of the late notable dyscoverye made 
by Francys Drake of sooche dominions as are scytuated beyonde 
the said Equynoctyall lyne y* yt may please her Ma*** that he may 
during his naturall l3rfe supplye the place of Governor of the seyd 
compagnye: and in consyderatyon of his great travayll and 
hazarde of his person in the seyd dyscoverye to have during his 
seyd lyfe a tenthe parte of the profits of sooche conunodytes as 
shall be brought into this reahne from the partes above remem- 

Item that there diaJl be reserved vnto her Ma*^ a \^ 
parte of the proff yt of sooche mynes of goold and cfylver as shall be 
found in these contreys y^ are hereafter to be discovered and are not 
lawfully possessed by any other Christyan Prince. 

Item y* yt may please her Ma*^ to erect an howsse of contratays 
w* sooche orders as were graimted by the K. of Spayne." 

Thus, Drake was to be the governor of the new company, 
or at least to appoint that officer, and was to receive a large 
share of the profits, while Elizabeth was to get the royal 
fifth and to establish an Enghsh Cdsa de Contraiaci&n 
(House of Trade). The seat of the company's activities was 
referred to only as "bayonde the* equynoctyall lyne," but 
there can be doubt from other evidence that California was 
to be the head and centre of the plan. 

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This becomes the more clear m the light of a sixteenth 
century French map of Drake's voyage, inscribed as seen 
and corrected by Drake himself. In this map the crown and 
arms of the queen of England were placed on the islands 
south of the Strait of Magellan and on Califomia. The 
name "Nova Albio" [sic] appears, but it runs nearly half 
way across the continent. Most significant of all is a 
boundary line, beginning at the head of the Gulf of Cali- 
fornia and running east through what is now the United 
States to a point in the Gulf of Mexico where the peninsula 
of Florida breaks off to the south. Below this line is the 
caption "Nova Hispanie" (New Spain). A small section on 
the south Atlantic coast, b^inning in northeastern Florida, 
is marked off as "Nova France" (New France), in deference 
to the French Huguenot colonies of the middle and later 
sixteenth century. All the rest, including the narrow wedge 
of the Florida peninsula between New France and New 
Spain, was apparently to be a part of Drake's "New Eng- 
land," or "Albion," proceeding, not out of Plymouth Rock 
or Boston harbor, but from the faraway western port at 
Drake's Bay. 

The project was something more than a wild dream. 
According to the testimony of one of Drake's prisoners, 
captured by him while off the northwestern coast of South 
America and released the next day, the English navigator 
had said 

"that if God spared his life he would return here from his coun- 
try within two years with six or seven galleons." 

Steps were taken, immediately after Drake's return to Eng- 
land, to make good this assertion. In January 1581, the 
Spanish ambassador to England wrote that Queen Elizabeth 
had agreed that Drake was to start with ten ships "for the 
Moluccas," he understood, and that six more were to go to 
Brazil and join Drake later in the Pacific. Political com- 
plications in Europe, however, especially the danger of a 
conflict with Spain, caused the plan to be abandoned. 
Another expedition was organized, presumably to go to the 

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Moluccas, but it was fitted out with the elements necessary 
to the founding of a colony and was ordered to find a 
northern route to New Albion. The sequel, as told by Mrs, 
Nuttall, was as follows: 

"By some intrigue the command was finally given to Edward 
Fenton, whom Drake and his men suspected of having deahngs 
with the Spanish Ambassador. It certainly came to pass that orders 
were disregarded, the fleet was taken to the coast of Brazil, where 
it was met and attacked by Spanish ships. Suspecting treachery 
John Drake and a small party separated themselves from the ex- 
pedition, which was then abandoned. Thus the attempt to col- 
onise New Albion and establish trade relations with the East 
Indies was frustrated.'' 

Drake's first visit to California was therefore his last, and 
it was two centuries more before his coimtrymen again 
appeared off that coast. His achievement, however, was 
not without result, though Spain originally and the United 
States ultimately were to profit by it instead of England. 
As will be pointed out in the next chapter, he stimulated the 
Spaniards to efforts which were later to bear fruit in the 
occupation of the Califomias precisely against such a peril 
as Drake's plan represented. It is therefore fitting, not only 
in honor of the English navigator's great feat in itself, but 
also in testimony of the importance of his work as affecting 
the future of California, that a stone cross should have been 
raised to his memory on one of the hills of San Francisco 
overlooking the Golden Gate and San Francisco Bay.* 

*The literature on Drake's voyage 
in the Pacific is of vast proportions, 
but, though much contemporary 
material has been discovered, many 
of the facts concerning this celebrated 
ex])edition are still veiled in myst^y. 
This is due mainly to the disappear- 
ance of Drake's own journal and the 
necessity for reliance upon incon- 
clusive evidences. Particularly note- 
worthjr among the works employed in 
preparing this chapter are the follow- 

1. Drake, Sir Francis. The world 
encompassed hy Sir Francis 
Drake . . . CoOaied with an 

unpvhlished numuscript of 
Francis Fletcher^ ehapudn of 
the expedition (London. 1854. 
Or. ed. London. 1628), in 
Hakluyt society, Works, 1 
ser., V. XVI. The author was 
a nephew of the admiral. The 
remarks cited to Fletcher in 
this chapter are from thb 
New light on Drake; a coUection 
of documents relating to his 
voyage of circumnavigation, 
1677-1580. Tr. ed. by Mrs. 
Zelia Nuttall (London. 1914), 
in Hakluyt society. Works, 2 
aer., v. XXXIV. 

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Drake's voyage to the Pacific awakened Spain to a 
realization of the danger she ran of losing large portions of 
her empire. Never before had she encountered competition 
along the western shores of the Americas, and her only- 
thought there had been to extend her domain in the direction 
of lands that promised quick returns in wealth. To be sure, 
Rodriguez Cabrillo and other leaders had sought the mys- 
terious northern strait in order to forestall foreign occupa- 
tion, but the principal ideal dming most of the first century 
after the discovery of America had been that of remunera- 
tive conquest, rather than defence. The expedition of Drake 
may fairly be said to have catised a change in Spanish 
colonial policy and the introduction of a new spirit which 
was to be the dominant note for another two hundred years. 
Henceforth Spain indeed sought rich lands, though more 
and more inclined to insist on proof before undergoing the 
expense of conquest, but fear of foreign danger began to take 
the principal place in her calculations for an extension of the 
sphere under her control. Expansion in order to ensure the 
safety of her already occupied dominions, the policy of what 
may be termed the "aggressive defensive," became the key- 
note in Spain's activities along her colonial borders. No 
region that she then possessed was so valuable to her as the 
kingdom of New Spain, and none of the mainland colonies 
was so exposed to European attack. Spain learned, thus 
early in her career, that the Califomias, extending down 
through the eight hundred mile peninsula to Cape San 
Lucas, constituted a grave danger if they should f aU into the 
hands of an enemy, for they lay conveniently near a great 


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part of the west coast of New Spain. It was natural, there- 
fore, that she should wish to occupy the Califomias, even 
though the effort should occasion considerable expense and 
though the expected riches should not develop.^ 

Allusion has already been made to the reports of the 
Spanish ambassador in England about Drake's project for a 
second voyage to the Pacific. What action the Spanish 
government took has not yet been revealed, but it is clear 
that the viceroys of this period displayed an unusually great 
interest in the Califomias, with a view to making Spanish 
establishments there. This interest was heightened by 
rumors that Drake had discovered the strait and sailed 
through it; indeed, the story of the pilot Morena, already 
referred to,* was current in New Spain for many years, 
being advanced at least as late as 1626. On top of all thi& 
came a report from Francisco de Gali, commander of the 
Manila galleon of 1584, that he had encountered evidences 
of the strait in his voyage of that year. According to the 
account of this voyage by Fernandez de Navarrete,* Gali 
sailed three hundred leagues east and northeast of Japan 

" and found open sea, with currents from the north and northwest 
which were not diverted by the wind, whatever its violence or 
direction, until, having sailed seven hundred leagues, he reached 
the coast of New Spain, where he no longer observed the currents or 
the depth of sea previously met with. This gave Gali the idea 
that the strait between Tartary, or northern Asia, and New Spain 
was in the region of the currents. He also encountered on all his 
seven hundred league voyage a great number of whales, tunny-fish, 
albicore, and banitoa, which are fish usually found in channels 
where there are currents. These circumstances confirmed him 
the more in his belief that the much talked of strait was in that 

nt is to be regretted that no very element ^the religious), but their set- 

thoroudi survey of the period em- ting in the larser sphere of Spanish 

braced Dv this chapter ana the three imperial design nas still to be treated 

which follow it has yet been made authoritatively by the historian, 
from the standpoint of governmental * See chapter VII. 

materials, wherefore clear proofs of 'In 1802, in his introduction to the 

official intention are not aiwasrs at narrative of the voyage of the SitUl 

hand. The events themselves are fairly and Mesicanaf which went north in 

well known, though even they come 1792 to prove, onoe for all, the truth or 

mainly through the reports of one falsity of the reports about the strait. 

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On this occasion, too, Gali passed along the Alta California 
coast. The narrative of the voyage, as translated in Ban- 
croft, after telling what had happened in the eaxlier stages 
of its sailing, went on to say that 

" being by the same course upon the coast of New Spain under 
37** 30', we passed by a very high and fair land with many trees, 
wholly without snow, and four leagues from the land you find 
thereabout many drifts of roots, leaves of trees, reeds, and other 
leaves like fig-leaves, the like whereof we found in great abundance 
in the country of Japan, which they eat; and some of those that 
we found, I caused to be sodden with flesh, and being sodden, they 
eat like coleworts; there likewise we found great store of scab; 
whereby it is to be presumed and certainly to be believed, that 
there are many rivers, bays, and havens along by those coasts to 
the haven of Acapulco. From thence we ran south-east, south- 
east and by south, and south-east and by east, as we found the 
wind, to the point called Cabo de San Lticas, which is the beginning 
of the land of California, on the north-west side, lying under 22°, 
being five hundred leagues distant from Cape Mendocino/' 

This account is an interesting indication that other 
Spanish ships had passed along the Alta California coast as 
far north as Cape Mendocino between the time of Ferrelo in 
1543 and GaU in 1584, though no record has come down to 
us. Ferrelo did not apply the name in 1543, and yet it is 
mentioned casually in 1584 by Gali, who did not see it on his 
voyage and who refers to it as one would to a place long 
since known and named. Of more immediate consequence, 
however, is the interest that the viceroy of New Spain dis- 
played in Gali's story. Gali himself was a man of more than 
ordinary attainments, and therefore his views were regarded 
as worthy of credence. The archbishop-viceroy, Pedro de 
Moya, said of him 

" that he was the best trained and most distinguished man in 
Mexico, and that in regard to cosmography and the art of navi- 
gation he could compete with the most select minds of Spain." 

Gali was asked about the advisability of establishing a settle- 
ment in some CaUfomia port, which might serve both as a 
way-station for the galleon and as a base for obtaining 
further information of northern lands. There can be little 

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doubt, too, that the element of foreign danger, of which 
Drake's voyage had been a forcible reminder, was influential 
in the viceroy's plans. Moya wrote to the king, strongly 
urging the need of discovering and occupying a port on the 
Alta Califomia coast, and intimated that he was about to 
send Gali again to the PhiUppines, with orders to explore 
and make maps of the coasts of Japan, the islands of the 
Armenian (as the islands later styled Rica de Oro and Rica 
de Plata were sometimes called), and the Calif omias. It 
seems probable that the voyage was not made, as no evidence 
of it has come to light. At any rate, Moya's successor, the 
Marques deVillamanrique, was clearly out of sympathy with 
the project. In May 1585, five months before he reached 
New Spain to take over the government of the viceroyalty, 
Villamanrique expressed his opinion that though no settle- 
ments had been made in the Calif omias the ships from the 
Philippines had not suffered any inconvenience for the lack 
of them. He seems not to have considered the matter from 
the standpoint of foreign danger. Upon his arrival in New 
Spain it is likely that the plan was dropped. 

If the new viceroy felt that there was no reason for anxiety 
over foreign incursions into the Pacific he was soon rudely 
disillusioned. In 1586 Thomas Cavendish had set sail from 
England with three ships of respectively 120, 60, and 40 
tons, and with 123 men. Entering the Pacific in 1587, he 
sailed north, ravaging the coasts of Pert! and New Spain and 
capturing many ships. Learning that the galleon was soon 
expected — ^the richest prize of all! — ^he betook himself with 
his two remaining ships to the Bay of San Bemab^ at Cape 
San Lucas in the Califomias. On November 4, 1587, the 
galleon of that year, the Santa Ana, a 700-ton ship, laden 
with rich silks and other cargo, besides 122,000 pesos m gold, 
hove into sight. Cavendish gave battle, and after a 
desperate fight took the prize. He thereupon transferred to 
his own ships what he wanted of her cargo, burned the 
galleon, and set sail for England. With one of his ships, he 
got across the Pacific, and eventually around the world to 
England. The survivors of the Santa Ana found that enough 

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remained of the hulk for them to make their way in it to 

Now, more than ever, it seemed clear that something 
must be done about occupying the Califomias, for it was 
there that the foreign ships had the best opportimity to lie 
in wait for the galleon, which was such an important element 
in the economic life of New Spain. More than likely, the 
achievements of Drake and Cavendish would serve as an 
alluring inducement to others. The worst of it was, that a 
mere handful of men seemed capable of upsetting Spain's 
security in the Pacific. Steps were taken, therefore, to dis^ 
cover a northern port along the California coast where the 
galleon might receive notice whether the seas were clear and 
perhaps the escort of a well armed vessel. 

In 1591 Luis de Velasco, who had succeeded Villamanrique 
as viceroy in 1590, wrote to the king that it was necessary 
to discover and survey the porta of the Califomias, if the 
Philippine ships were to be adequately protected. Orders 
were therefore sent from Spain, in 1593, for such a survey 
to be made in course of a voyage of the galleon. The diffi- 
culty was to find the money, since a careful exploration 
would entail considerable additional expense. It was ar- 
ranged, however, with the consent of the government in 
Spain, that a private individual should supply the funds, in 
return for which he was to receive concessions enabling him 
to make a profit on his venture. Accordingly, in 1694, 
Sebastian Rodriguez Cermenho,* a Portuguese, was selected 
to command the Manila ship. 

According to Velasco he was 

''a man of experience in his calling, one who can be depended 
upon and who has means of his own." 

Apparently he was well acquainted with the galleon route, 
for he seems to have been pilot of the ill-fated Santa Ana 
when Cavendish took it. Rodriguez was given permission 

* The mother's name, Cermenho (by mefio. Cermefion and Sennefio are 
which he is more often called), is usu- also of occasional use. 
ally written in Spanish form as Cer- 

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to ship a number of tons of cloth at Manila on the galleon, 
thus receiving the benefit of the space and freight-money. 
The wisdom of the decision to know and perhaps occupy the 
Calif omias seemed clear when news came to New Spain, late 
in 1594, that Richard Hawkins in an English ship had broken 
into the Pacific some time before and ravageid the South 
American coast, though he was captured by the Spaniards 
in the month of June, not far from Panamd. 

On July 6, 1695, Rodriguez Cermenho left Manila in the 
San Aguatin for the voyage to the Califomias and Acapulco, 
and on November 4 first sighted the coast in about 42'', ac- 
cording to his own account, but in fact farther south, prob- 
ably a little north of Eureka, above 41''. He now proceeded 
along the coast, taking soundings and looking for a suitable 
port, except at night, when he deemed it wise to run to sea. 
On the 6th he passed Cape Mendocino. That day and 
night he experienced a terrific storm, which left the San 
Aguslin in such bad shape that several of the officers 
petitioned him to veer away from the coast and head at 
once for Acapulco, giving up the plan for the discoveries. 
Rodri^ez would not hear of it, however, and tinned the 
vessel toward the shore. About noon of the same day the 
sailors at the mast-head caught sight of Drake's Bay be- 
hind Point Reyes, whereupon the ship was steered in that 
direction and came to anchor in the bay. Rodriguez named 
this port the ^'Bay of San Francisco," although he and his 
men also called it ^'Bahfa Grande" (Great Bay). 

The narrative of Rodr^uez's sojourn at Drake's Bay, 
from November 6 to December 8, compares in interest with 
that of Drake, and indeed much more precise information 
was given about the country for some three or four leagues 
into the interior from the place where the Spaniards landed. 
The Indians were almost equally as friendly as in the time 
of Drake, and the country impressed the various witnesses 
who expressed themselves about it as very much like 
Castile. The Spanish accounts also tell, of the great number 
of deer (which seemed to them of unusually large size) and 
partridges (probably the "conies" of Drake's narrative) 

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that they saw. Rodriguez's long stay was occasioned by his 
plan to explore the shore in a smaller vessel which he built 
there, leaving the galleon to keep farther o£f the coast in the 
safer waters of the deep sea. In the light of what happened 
it was fortunate that he had decided upon this course, for on 
November 30 the San Agustin was driven on shore and 
wrecked. Only two men seem to have met death, but most 
of the cargo and all of the provisions were lost. It would 
be interesting to have more details of this disaster, but the 
narratives of the voyage which have thus far been found are 
singularly reticent on this score. The launch, or open sail- 
boat, which they were building was nearly completed; so 
they were saved a delay in their departure which otherwise 
would have cost them their lives. It was pressingly urgent, 
however, that they should procure supplies, for there were 
seventy mouths to feed. Rodriguez ther^ore made two 
expeditions inland, and obtained provisions from the 
Indians, mostly acorns^ which (though bitter to the taste) 
kept them from starving. On one occasion Rodriguez went 
to a village to recover some timbers which the natives had 
procured from the wreck of the ship. The Indians showed 
fight, sending a shower of arrows against the Spaniards 
which wounded one man. Then they fled, and Rodriguez 
and his men plundered the village, getting a great booty in 
acorns. Later, the Indians repented, and made a gift of 
further supplies. 

On December 8, 1695, Rodriguez left Drake's Bay on the 
San Buenaventura^ the launch he had constructed. Seventy 
men and a store of clothes and stuffs saved from the gal- 
leon (to use in barter with the Indians) were crowded into 
the tiny ship. He headed south for some small barren islands 
(the Farallones) that he had seen before, and 

''passed near the said barren islands on the land side about 
a league or more from shore."' 

Yet he saw nothing of San Francisco Bay. On the 10th 

he passed Monterey Bay, which he called the "Bay of San 

* In his report of April 24, 1596. the land about a league away, more or 
Rodrteues puts it this way: ''I passed less." 
near &e said barren islands and near 

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Pedro." In the afternoon of the 12th the San Buenaventura 
came upon a village along the Santa Barbara Channel. 
The men called to the natives on shore that they were 
^^cristianos'^ (Christians) , whereupon one native caught up 
the cry, shouting in a loud voice ^'Cristianosl CriatianoaV^ 
and straightway came out to them on a raft. Rodri- 
guez gave him a woolen blanket and some taffeta. Soon 
a number of other Indians came. The Spaniards made 
signs that they were hungry, wherefore the Indians returned 
to shore and brought back some bitter acorns and a kind of 
acorn mush. This they offered in exchange for some of the 
goods in the San Buenaventura's store. Indeed, said 

" this people seems to be somewhat avaricious, for after we had 
given them pieces of taffeta and satin and woolen blankets they 
asked for more." 

Thus early were the Santa Barbara Indians displaying those 
qualities which in later years caused the Spaniards to call 
them "the Chinamen of California," because of their fond- 
ness for driving a good bargain. In course of the conversa- 
tion with them, such as it was (for neither party understood 
the language of the other), some of the Indians said "Mexico I 
Mexico!" It would be interesting to know whether their 
knowledge of that land had come down to them from the 
Rodrfeuez Cabrillo-Ferrelo voyage of more than fifty years 
before, or from some overland communication, or indeed 
from some other crew of seamen whose visit to California is 
as yet unknown. 

Meanwhile Rodrfguez had been making careful surveys 
of the coast, in accordance with his instructions. The sailors 
and passengers were now sick and weak from lack of food, 
for they had been subsisting on acorns only. So on the 13th 
they joined in asking Rodrfguez to desist from making 
further discoveries and to sail with all possible speed for a 
land where they might procure food. But Rodrfguez put 
them off with fair words, and continued to run the coast in 
search of information. If the account is true, he must indeed 

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have been a brave man of commanding personality to hold 
out against starving men in an age of violence; at any rate, 
he proceeded in ensuing days to make his observations as 
before. To satisfy their hunger the Spaniards kiUed a dog 
they had with them, cooked him, and ate him, even to the 
very skin. This was on the 13th. On the 14th they passed 
near Catalina Island, where two Indians came aboard and 
gave them ten or twelve fish and a seal. Rodrfguez made 
them a present of some silk and woolen blankets, intimating 
to them, as best he could, that they should bring more food 
in exchange for these goods. The Indians went away and 
returned again, but brought nothing to eat. Nevertheless, 
the Spaniards were able this day to catch about thirty fish, 
all of which they ate. From there they sailed to San 
Clemente Island, which they reached that night. Going 
toward the mainland again, on the 15th, they came to 
Point Loma and San Diego Bay, which had been named, 
apparently on some prevous voyage, the "Bay of Pesca- 
dores" (Fishermen). They did not stop, however, making 
a two day run down the coast. 

On the 17th they came to a large island, probably the one 
known today as San Martfn Island in 30® 29' near the Baja 
California coast.* The island seemed to have been known 
to Rodr^uez before, and is referred to by him as "San 
Agustfn." The Spaniards now had neither food nor drink; 
so a party was landed to see what they could find. They 
brought back some bread which the Indians of that place 
had cooked, made out of a root resembling the sweet potato, 
but this made the Spaniards sick when they ate it. Driven 
from the southern part of the island by a strong wind, they 
went to the northern end for shelter. Here they made a dis- 
covery which very probably saved their lives. As Rodrfguez 
puts it, 

"We went on shore and found many wild onions and prickly- 
pear trees, and likewise God willed that we should find a dead fish 
among the rocks, with two mortal wounds, and it was so large 

* Rodriguez described tliis island wide, and in 31^ 15' at its northwost* 
as running from northwest to south- em point, 
east, eight or nine leagues long by four 

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that the seventy of us sustained ourselves on it for more than a 
week, and if it luul not been so large we would have perished there 
of hunger." 

There was still no water, but here too the miracle occurred. 
''God was pleased" to send a wind that night which caused 
them to leave their anchorage and run down the island more 
than four leagues, where they entered a small but safe bay. 
There they found a stream of good water, which descended 
from the mountains of the island. It was two days more 
before the wind died down sufficiently for them to return to 
the northern end. There they picked up some thirty com- 
panions who had been left there to roast the big fish and 
guard it. 

On December 22, having taken on board plenty of watek* 
and the remainder of the big fish, Rodr%uez set sail in search 
of Cerros Island. The sailors and passengers with him were 
now so sick and weak, some of them at the point of death, 
that Rodrfguez acceded to their requests that he should 
no longer stop to make observations of the coast, which from 
this point on was quite well known to Spanish navigators 
anyway. So he hastened on as fast as possible, and on 
January 7, 1596, came to anchor in the port of Navidad, 
New Spain. Here most of the men, Rodrfguez among them, 
disembarked in order to restore their shattered health. The 
launch was despatched xmder Juan de Morgaiia (one of 
Rodrfguez's officers), with a crew of ten men, to Acapulco, 
where it arrived on January 31. Rodrfguez made his way 
to Mexico City, at which place, on April 24, 1596, he penned 
his official report. 

Unfortunately for the reputation of this mariner there was 
an aftermath to the voyage. To the merchants of New 
Spain and, to a certain extent, to the authorities the out- 
standing fact was the loss of the San Agustin and its cargo, 
and proceedings were instituted to determine who was at 
fault. The officers endeavored to inculpate one another, 
and, furthermore, when Rodrfguez and two others were 
questioned by the viceroy about the discoveries along the 
Alta California coast they did not agree in all particulars. 

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In a letter to the king, dated April 19, 1596, the viceroy (the 
Conde de Monterey, who had succeeded Velasco in 1595) 
expressed himself as follows: 

"To me there seems to be convincing proof, resting on clear 
inference, that some of the principal bays, where with greater 
reason it might be expected harbors would be found, they crossed 
from point to point and by night, while others they entered but 
a Uttle way. For all this a strong incentive must have existed, be- 
cause of the hunger and illness they say they experienced, which 
would cause them to hasten on their voyage. Thus, I take it, as to 
this exploration the intention of Your Majesty has not been car- 
ried into effect. It is the general opinion that this enterprise 
should not be attempted on the return voyage from the islands 
and with a laden ship, but from this coast and by constantly fol- 
lowiDg along it." 

Thus did Rodrfguez Cermenho fail of the glory to which he 
was entitled, and he was saved from oblivion only through 
the notoriety of having lost his ship. Yet, those who have 
read his report will recognize that he gave a very good 
description of the Alta California coast; it is almost always 
possible to tell just where he was from the account he gave — 
and this is something that cannot be said for some other more 
famous navigators. His voyage did have a real importance, 
however. As indicated in the Conde de Monterey's letter, 
cited above, the opinion became general that it would be 
better to explore the Califomias by a voyage direct from 
New Spain, in boats of light draught, instead of relying upon 
the galleon for this purpose. The new idea was very soon to 
be acted upon.^ 

' For the Rodrfguez Cermenho voy- 
age transcripts (in the Bancroft Li- 
brary) from the following docimients 
of the Archivo General de Indias of 
Seville, Spain, were used: 

1. 1595. Nov. 30-Dec. 9. Drake's 
Bay. Pedro de Lugo. 

Informaci6n sobre la calidad de 
la tierra que se vido en el Puer- 
to que se tom6. 

Copy. Transcript 15 pp. long- 
hand. Legajo 58-3-12. 

Testimony taken by the notary 
Lugo of Rodriguez and others 

about the land at Drake's Bay 
and for three or four leases 
inland. Dated (in Mexico) 

2. [1596. Jan. Navidad]. Pedro de 

[Sworn testimony of Rodriguez 
before the notary Lugo of his 
discoveries in the Califomias 
from the first day that he 
sighted the coast until his 
arrival at Cerroe Island]. 

Original. Transcript 16 pp. 
typed. L^gajo 58-3-12. 

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3. 1596. Apr. 24. Mexico. Sebas- 
tian Rodriguez Cennenho. 
Derrotero y re]aci6n de! descub- 
rimiento que hizo el Capitdn 
y Piloto mayo: Sebastiiiii Ri. 
Cermenho, por orden de bu 
masestad, hasta la Isla de 
Original. Transcript 21 pp. long- 
hand. Legajo 58-3-16. 

These three documents tell much 

the same story, but they are not iden- 
tical. Taken with other materials in 
the Bancroft Library they should one 
day be the basis for a substantial 
thesis. Except for a brief and some- 
what mistaken note in Richman, they 
have never been utilized before. In 
addition, the Documents and Doeur 
merUaSt cited as items 1 and 2 in the 
bibliographical note to the next chap- 
ter, were used. 

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sebastiAn vizcaI no 

Even before Rodr^ez Cermenho had reached the end 
of his fateful voyage, there had appeared at Mexico City a 
rival for the glory and profit of making discoveries in the 
Calif omias, a man well acquainted with the galleon route and 
indeed a shipmate of Rodriguez on the Santa Ana. This was 
a certain Sebastidn Vizcafno, who from being a moderately 
successful merchant desired to convert himself into a con- 
queror and a ''general/' or commander, of a fleet, the same 
Vizcaino who in later years headed the embassy to Japan 
which has already been discussed. By his own account ^ 
he "lost a great deale of treasure and commodities" when 
Cavendish took the Santa Ana, but he made the round trip 
to Manila again, reaching New Spain in 1590 with a profit 
of 2,500 ducats on an investment of 200. 

In company with several others Vizcafno worked out a 
plan which he hoped might prove an even richer windfall 
than that of the trade on the galleon. He and his associates 
approached the viceroy for a license to engage in pearl- 
fishing in the Califomias, in return for which they agreed to 
furnish the government with information about that country. 
In 1594 the viceroy, Luis de Velasco, made a contract with 
them, but execution was delayed as a result of a quarrel 
between members of the company. The matter was brought 
before the courts, which ordered Vizcafno and his com- 
panions to begin the voyage within three months' time. 
Matters were at this point when the Conde de Monterey 

* In a letter to his father, dated June Hant ed. by Richard Hayluyt. Every* 

20, 1590, translated and published in man edition, VII (London and New 

The principal ruwigoHona voyages tntf^ York. 1907), 133-135. 
fiquea dt diecoveriee qf the English no- 


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reached Mexico. Believing that a policy of leniency would 
best serve the royal interests, he amended the decree of the 
court, and granted the company a concession to enter the 
Califomias and reduce them by peaceful means to sub- 
jection to the crown, for which the conquerors were to have 
the usual vast privileges and exemptions granted to the 
pacifiers and settlers of new provinces. Accordingly, 
Vizcaino, who had succeeded to headship in the enterprise, 
began to raise recruits for the expedition, when it was 
brought to the Conde de Monterey's attention that the 
original contract, under which Vizcaino was acting, had 
reference only to the pearl-fishery and not at all to the entry 
and pacification of the land. This gave Monterey an 
opportunity to consider whether it was desirable to grant 
the concession he had promised. On this point he wrote to 
the king, on February 29, 1696, as follows: 

''I . . . found . . . that a reconsideration was necessary; for, 
it seemed to me, with regard to the person [Vizcaino], his quality 
and capital are not sufficient in connection with an enterprise 
which may come to be of such vast importance, and one requiring 
greater backing and a method of proceeding other than what is 
now thought and deemed sufficient; for, even looking at the mat- 
ter from the utilitarian point of view, although he make the jour- 
ney at his own cost and without any expense to Your Majesty, it 
seems to be of little moment whether he goes for gain and m order 
not to lose the chance of good fortune, but of great importance 
the hazarding of not only the repute which would be lost among 
these nations of Indians if the natives of that country should 
repel this man and his people, but — this is the principal thing 
involved — that of the conscience and authority of the royal per- 
son of Your Majesty. It appeared to me to be risking much if an 
expedition which cannot lawfully be one of direct conquest, but 
one of preaching the gosi)el and pacification, and of bringing the 
people into subjection to the crown, were entrusted to a man as 
leader and chief whose position is obscure and who has not even in 
less degree, the resolution and capacity necessary for so great an 

Despite his somewhat imfavorable opinion of Vizcaino, the 
viceroy decided, however, after taking counsel with the high- 
est authorities in Mexico, that it would be contrary t( 

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justice not to let the expedition take place. As he put it, in 
the letter above referred to: 

''And, because I have deemed it meet for the service of Our 
Lord and that of Your Majesty, inasmuch as it was necessary 
to go on with the affair since it had been begun and as this man 
[Vizcaino] does not possess notorious defects which can rightfully 
excuse Your Majesty from aiding and fomenting his undertaking, 
in order that the persons he has enUsted and intends to put on 
board ship, and who in number and condition make a reasonably 
good showing, may esteem and resi)ect him, I have done all that 
lay in my power to show him honor while here and to clothe him 
with authority in view of the greater danger I foresee and fear on 
his accoimt, though I would not say it to him — which is some lack 
of respect and an overbold bearing on the part of the soldiers 
whom he takes with him, so that in this way they may come to 
disobey his orders, all this giving rise to great disorder/' 

Vizcafno at least displayed energy, and in March 1696 his 
expedition got under way for the Californias. Three ships, 
with a large number of men, made up his force. As an indi- 
cation of his intention to make a settlement it is to be noted 
that he carried four Franciscans (to convert the natives and 
reduce them to missions), some of the soldiers' wives, and a 
number of horses. In his voyage up the coast from Acapulco 
he lost fifty men by desertion, and one of the friars (because 
of illness) left the expedition. Crossing to the lower end of 
Baja California, he came at length, apparently about the 
middle of August, to the site which Jimenez and*Cort^ had 
visited before him, and because the Indians received him so 
peacefully he gave it the name which ever since it has re- 
tained, "La Paz" (Peace). The winter storms of the Gulf of 
California, which had already begun, were such that he could 
proceed no farther with his flagship; so it was decided to 
establish a colony there while Vizcafno himself should push 
on in the two smaller vessels to explore the northern shores 
of the gulf. Accordingly Vizcafno started north on October 
3. He encountered terrific storms, but weathered them, 
and at length came to a place where the Indians invited the 
Spaniards to come ashore. So Vizcafno landed forty-five 
men. All went well, until a Spanish soldier 

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''inconsiderately struck one of the Indians in the breast with 
the butt of his arquebus." 

In consequence there was a fight, in which some of the 
Indians were killed, but as a boatload of Spaniards were 
returning to their ship the Indians shot arrows at them 
from the shore. One man was hit in the nose, and this 
resulted in a commotion which led to upsetting the boat. 
Dressed as they were in heavy leathern armor, nineteen 
were drowned, and only five escaped by swimming. 

In course of time this event became magnified in the 
telling until it reached the proportions of a very pretty 
legend. The story was told that a certain Don Lope, a page 
of the viceroy, besought the hand of a Dofia Elvira. The 
latter at length promised to marry him, provided he could 
replace a certain magnificent i)earl she had lost. Con- 
sequently Don Lope joined Vizcaino's expedition. Going 
on the voyage up the gulf he was one of the men who landed 
at the place where the battle with the Indians was fought, 
and was indeed the one who caused it. He saw the identical 
pearl which would suit Dofia Elvira, and seized it from the 
very lips of a chieftain's daughter. This not only brought 
on the battle but also the enforced abandonment of the 
province. But Don Lope was well content, for he won his 
bride, — and then she confessed that she had not lost any 
pearl at all. 

Vizcaino put back to La Paz, where he found that the 
colony was not maintaining itself too successfully. Accord- 
ing to Franciscan writings the Indians liked the friars, 
but objected to the soldiers, who paid scant attention to 
native customs and too much to native women! Further- 
more, all were discouraged by the storms, which prevented 
their fishing for pearls, numerous indications of which had 
been found, and the food supply was running short. As the 
country was unsuited to provide for their wants, Vizcaino 
gave orders for the return to New Spain. On October 28 
the colony was abandoned, after an existence of about two 
months, and two of the ships sailed for New Spain. Vizcaino 
in the third ship, with forty of his best men, made another 

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efforti however^ to explore the northern shores of the gulf. 
Again he encountered heavy storms, and this time they 
were so severe that the rudder-irons broke. Therefore he 
and his men made the best of their way back to New Spain, 
''God in pity conducting us/^ as he himself put it. 

Arrived in Mexico he was eager to make a fresh expedition. 
They had failed, he said, merely because the voyage had been 
made at the wrong season. At a different time of the year 
they might have avoided the storms, but this they could not 
have known before. He was full of praise for the Calif omias, 
though his own experience of them gave little warrant for his 
encomiimis. There were innumerable Indians • eager to 
receive the gospel; the land was twice as large as New 
Spain and in a better situation, as concerned distance from 
the equator; pearls were ''abimdant and of excellent qual- 
ity''; the waters were richer in fish than any other known 
sea; there were great resources in salt deposits; and 
twenty days to the northwest there were 

'' towns of people wearing clothes and who havegolden ornaments 
in the ears and nose, and they have silver, many cloaks of cotton, 
maize, and provisions, and fowls of the country and of Castile.'' 

In case he should be allowed to make another expedition he 
wished that lands with the Indians upon them be granted to 
him and his men, ' and that they all be made nobles in one 
of the lower grades of nobility (cabaUeros hijoadcUgo), besides 
receiving a grant of other assistance and favors. 

The Council of the Indies had already ordered, in May 
1596, that somebody other than Vizcaino be chosen to effect 
the conquest, intending this measure to apply to the expedi- 
tion on which in fact he had already departed. But the 
Conde de Monterey was now more favorably disposed 
toward Vizcaino. He wrote of him that 

''in addition to possessing a practical knowledge of the South 
Sea [Pacific Oceanf and being a man of even disposition upright 
and of good intentions, he is of medium yet sufficient ability (al- 

* That is, in encomienda as it was called, a familiar institution of Spanish 
odoDial machinery. 

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though I had feared it was otherwise) for governing his people, 
and this coupled with energy enough to make himself respected 
by them." 

As for the voyage 

"the unfortunate ending . . . was not due to incapacity on 
the part of Vizcaino, who on the contrary gave evidence of some 
ability and greater spirit than could have been expected from a 
mere trader engaged in an enterprise of this kind." 

The viceroy was not deceived by Vizcaino's glowing descrip- 
tions, but was inclined to believe (as indeed the circum- 
stances warranted) that the pearl fisheries might prove rich. 
He therefore recommended that Vizcaino be assisted, out of 
royal funds, to make another expedition, but 

"for the purpose merely of ascertaining definitely what there is 
there, in order that complete assurance be had concerning the value 
of the pearl-fishery, and that greater light may be thrown on what 
relates to the defence and security of these realms and the ships 
which make the China voyage." 

Alluding to the voyage of Rodriguez Cermenho and the 
wreck of the San AgustiUy he said that people were now 
convinced that the proper way to explore the northern 
coasts of the Califomias was not by a voyage from Manila 
in the heavily laden galleons, but by going direct from New 
Spain in boats of Ught draught. This exploration, he 
thought, should be conducted on one and the same enter- 
prise with discoveries in the Gulf of California. The Council 
of the Indies, under date of September 27, 1599, endorsed 
the viceroy's plan in the main, requesting that action be 
taken "with all possible speed." They put great emphasis 
on the character of the men to be enlisted for the expedition, 
wishing to take precautions against arousing the hostiUty of 
the Indians, but ordered the explorations in the gulf and 
those along the Alta California coasts to be undertaken 

Yet the expedition was held back until 1602. One of the 
prime causes for the delay was a fresh entry of foreign ships 

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into the Pacific, wherefore it became necessary to seek them 
out with all the forces Spain could command. This time it 
was the Dutch who caused the trouble. In 1598 two Dutch 
fleets left Europe and sailed through the Strait of Magellan 
into the Pacific, respectively in 1599 and 1600. One of these 
fleets, originally under Jacob Mahu and later under Simon 
de Cordes, did not in fact go very far north before making 
its way across the Pacific, but the other imder Olivier Van 
Noort made several captures off the west coast of South 
America, and reached the region of the equator before turn- 
ing west. Notice of these voyages early reached New Spain, 
and rumors of foreign ships came in from all directions. 
Passengers on the San Ger&nimOy the Manila galleon which 
reached Acapulco early in 1599, declared they had seen four 
ships near Cerros Island, off the western coast of Baja 
California, but the Conde de Monterey reported, no doubt 
with correctness, that more likely they mistook the clouds 
for ships. With the actual captures made by Van Noort in 
1600, Spanish fears were redoubled. One man, who had 
been a prisoner on Van Noort's ship, declared that the Dutch 
had accounts of the voyage of Cavendish in their possession 
and that they planned like him to catch the Manila galleon 
off Cape San Lucas. A Spanish fleet was therefore sent 
north from Pert! under Juan de Velasco to look for Van 
Noort, and in September 1600 it spent some days scouring the 
Baja Califomian coast from La Paz to beyond Cape San 
Lucas. FindiQg no enemies the Spaniards began to doubt 
their existence in those seas. As one of the captains 
(Hernando de Lugones) said: 

"There is news of the enemy everywhere, but they are like 
phantoms which appear in many places, whereas we find them in 

The inmiediate danger having in fact disappeared, prepara- 
tions for the Vizcaino expedition could now be resumed. 

On March 18, 1602, formal instructions for the voyage 
were issued. These were set forth in great detail, but 
amounted substantially to what had been decided upon in 

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1597 and 1599 by the viceroy and the Council of the Indies. 
Vizcaino was ordered to make a thorough exploration of the 
coast from Cape San Lucas to Cape Mendocino, employing 
two ships of moderate size and a launch, which could get 
near the coast for close-up observations. On no accoimt 
was he to go inside the gulf, unless perhaps in passing, on 
the return journey; indeed, in an earlier communication, 
dated March 2, 1602, the viceroy informed him that he 
would incur the penalty of death if he disobeyed in this 
particular. If weather permitted he might continue his 
explorations beyond Cape Mendocino to Cape Blanco,' but 
if the coast had a westward trend from Cape Mendocino he 
was to go a himdred leagues only and not more. Emphasiz- 
ing the fact that this was a voyage for exploration of the 
coast only, the viceroy said that Vizcaino was not to stop fo^ 
a thorough examination of any great bay he might find, 
beyond observing the entrance thereto and discovering 
shelter for shipping; in view of the interest in the Strait of 
Anidn this indeed manifested a desire to discover only so 
much as might surely be possible, rather than the pursuit of 
wild schemes. Furthermore, he was to make no settlements 
and was to take great pains to avoid conflicts with the 

No expense had been spared in providing for this expedi- 
tion. The crews, about two himdred men in all, were care- 
fully selected, most of them being enUsted in Mexico City 
as both sailors and soldiers. There were three ships, of better 
than usual quality: the San Diego, the flagship, on which 
Vizcaino sailed as "general'' of the expedition; the Santo 
TomdSy imder the "admiral" Toribio G6mez de Corbin, a 
sailor of long experience in European service; and the 
launch, or "frigate," Tree Reyes, imder Sebasti&n Mel^ndez, 
succeeded later by Martin de Aguilar. In addition there 
was a long-boat, but that was left behind at the lower end 
of Baja California, though picked up again on the return 

* It is interesting to note that the — doubtless through voyages of the 
Spaniards aheady had some idea of Manila galleon, 
the coast as far north as Cape Blanco, 

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journey. An expert map maker was taken along in the 
person of Ger6nimo Martinez^ de Palacios, who in fact per- 
formed his tasks most meritoriously.* Several other officers 
and special counselors of the general went along, besides 
three Carmelite friars. One of the last named was a certain 
Father Antonio de la Ascensi6n. a former pilot, and also 
something of a cosmographer. His account of the voyage 
was for many years the best known of the original sources, 
though his diary is not now extant. Incidentally, the 
general was accompanied by his son. Provisions for 
eleven months were carried. 

On May 5, 1602, the expedition left Acapulco. Making 
his way up the coast, Vizcaino crossed over to Cape San 
Lucas, requiring several days for the voyage, on account 
of the winds encountered. The voyage from the Bay of 
San 6emab6 (near the cape), in which he had cast anchor on 
June 11, to San Di^o may be passed quickly in review. It 
proved to be one of extreme difficulty, for headwinds were 
met with all the way. For example, the general was three 
times blown back to the port of San Bemab^ before he could 
round the peninsula to northwestward, and one ship was 
obliged to return a fourth time. Some days not a league was 
made, and tacking back and forth was always necessary. 
Frequently the ships were separated, but managed to find one 
another again. One of the worst difficulties was in keeping 
up the water supply off the sterile west coast of the peninsula. 
"It was not very fresh and was green," said Vizcaino of one 
standing pool of water, "but the bottles we carried were 
filled with it." Always, however, a supply would be found, 
though absolute want often threatened. Nevertheless, 
careful explorations of the coast were made, and names were 
appUed without much regard to those given by earUer 

After a voyage of over four months from San Bemab6, 
from which he had succeeded in departing on July 5, 

* The name of Martfnes appears in colors, are to be found at the Archivo 
some docmnents as Martin. Genend de Indias in leffajo 60-4-37. 

* A series of maps, presmnably Exact reproductions now exist in the 
.by Martlfiez and beaumuU^ done in Bancroft Library. 

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Yizcafno passed the line of what was later to become Alta 

'' Sunday y the 10th of the month/' he said, "we arrived at a 
port which must be the best to be foimd in all the South Sea 
[Pacific Ocean], . • . protected on all sides and having good 

Two days later, on November 12, the day of Saint James 
(San Diego), a mass was celebrated, and the name '^San 
Diego," which it still bears, was given to the port, thus 
doing honor not only to the saint but also to the general's 
flagship. Here a stay of ten days was made to repair the 
ships and give the crews a chance to recover from sickness. 
Leaving San Diego on November 20, Yizcafno sighted 
Catalina Island on the 24th, the day of Saint Catherine 
(Santa Catalina), wherefore he gave it the name it has since 
retained, though he did not come to anchor there until 
the 27th. While there, aa incident occurred that is worth 
mentioning. After relating a visit Vizcaino made to the in- 
terior of the island, where he saw an Indian idol and 

"placed the name of Jesus on the head of the demon, telling 
the Indians that that was good, and from heaven, but that the idol 
was the devil." 

the diary of the voyage goes on to say: 

''The general returned to the pueblo, and an Indian woman 
brought him two pieces of figured China silk, in fragments, telling 
him that they had got them from people like ourselves, who had 
negroes; that they had come on the ship which was driven by a 
strong wind to the coast and wrecked, and that it was farther on. 
The general endeavored to take two or three Indians with him, 
that they might tell him where the ship had been lost, promising to 
give them clothes. The Indians consented and went with him to 
the captain's ship, but, as we were weighing anchor preparatory 
to leaving, the Indians said they wished to go ahead in their canoe, 
and that they did not wish to go aboard the ship, fearing that we 
would abduct them, and the general, in order not to excite them, 
said: 'Verywefl.'" 

Apparently Vizcaino thought that some near-by wreck of an 
unknown ship was referred to, but the reader of the Rodri- 
guez Cermenho account will at once recognize that the ref- 

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erence was to his visit there seven years before and that the 
San Agustin, far to the north in Drake's Bay, was the 
wrecked ship indicated. 

Going up the Santa Barbara Channel, so named by them, 
Vizcaino and his men were harangued by an intelligent old 
chief, who 

''made himself so well understood by signs that he lacked 
nothing but ability to speak our language." 

He had come out in a boat to persuade them to stop at this 
village, and 

"such were the efforts of this Indian to get us to go to it that 
as a greater inducement he said he would give to each one of us 
ten women." 

But as the wind was then behind them for the first time since 
leaving Acapulco and as winter was coming on, the Span- 
iards decided to continue on their course. Rounding Point 
Conception, which they so named, they sighted Santa 
Lucia Mountain, to which also they gave the name that still 
remains. Coming to ''a large bay," Vizcaino sent the launch 
ahead to explore it for a port, "for this coimtry was the most 
important of the exploration for the p\u*poses of His 
Majesty," because it was at this point that the Manila 
galleon would be most desirous of finding suitable anchorage. 
This was on December 16. The report of the commander of 
the laimch was favorable, and on the next day the fleet en- 
tered the bay to proems water and restore the sick, of whom 
there were many. They were now in Monterey Bay, which 
they so named in honor of the viceroy. Near by, too, they 
discovered the Carmelo Biver, and named it. 

The so-called discovery of the Bay of Monterey — so- 
called, because Rodriguez Cermenho had seen this bay al- 
most seven years to a day before Vizcaino did — ^was the 
capital event of the expedition. According to Vizcaino: 

"We found ourselves to be in the best port that could be desired, 
for besides being sheltered from all the winds, it has many pines 
for masts and yards, and live oaks and white oaks, and water in 
great quantity, all near the shore." 

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In his letters^ too, he praised the port: 

''in addition to being so well situated in point of latitude for 
that which His Majesty intends to do for the protection and 
fiecurity of ships coming from the PhiUppines • . . the harbor is 
very secure against aU winds. The land is thickly peopled by 
Indians and is very fertile, in its climate and the quality of the 
soil resembling Castile."* 

And again: 

"it is all that can be desired for commodiousness and as a sta- 
tion for ships making the voyage to the PhiUppines, sailing whence 
they make a landfall on this coast. This port is sheltered from all 
winds • . . [and] if, after putting to sea, a storm be encountered, 
they [the Philippine ships] need not, as formerly, run for Japan, 
where so many have been cast away and so much property lost." 

In these statements Vizcaino was borne out by Ascensidn, 
who called it "a fine port" and went on to say: 

"This is where the ships coming from the Philippines to New 
Spain come to reconnoitre. It is a good harbor, well sheltered, and 
supplied with water, wood, and good timber." 

The curious feature about these reporte (and much more 
might be added to them, including references to the vast 
wealth in gold and silver that the Indians said was to be 
foimd in the interior) is that nearly all they had to say was 
true, save for the yam about the excellence of Monterey as a 
sheltered port, but it was precisely this departure from 
strict accuracy that had the most effect; the legend of the 
port of Monterey became one of the moving factors for a 
century and a half in Spanish expansion to the northwest. 

At Monterey the crews were landed and a council was 
held to determine what the expedition should do. Owing 
to the unexpectedly long time required for the voyage thus 
far (more than seven months), the supplies were becoming 
exhausted. Some forty-five or more of the men were sick 
with the scurvy and several had died — sixteen according to 
one account. It was decided that Admiral G6mez in the 
Santo Tamds should return at once to New Spain, taking 
with him those who were sickest and also the reports of the 

*Viscalnototheking(7). Monterey. Dec 28, 1602. 

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voyage. On December 29, therefore, G6mez started back, 
and eventually made port, — ^with a loss of twenty-five of the 
thirty-four men he had on boardi 

The other two ships left for the north on January 8, 1603. 
On the 5th they parted company in a storm, and did not 
again see each other during the rest of the voyage. That 
same day Vizcaino came to anchor outside the harbor at 
Drake's Bay, but was driven away the next morning by an 
o£fshore wind. Several of Vizcaino's men had been at 
Drake's Bay before, on the San Agustirty notably Francisco 
de Bola&os, chief pilot of the San DiegOy who recognized the 
bay as the place where Rodriguez had stopped. On the 12th 
Vizcaino at last reached Cape Mendocino, whence, in accord 
with his instructions, he was at liberty to turn back, but the 
storms drove him somewhat farther to the north, until 
January 21, when he was able to start the return journey. 
Meanwhile the intense cold and the sickness of the men, of 
whom at one time ''there were only two sailors who could 
climb to the maintopsail," had combined with the storms to 
produce great hardship. 

''The pitching was so violent that it threw both sick and well 
from their beds and the general from his. He struck upon some 
boxes and broke his ribs with the heavy blow." 

The return voyage, however, was comparatively simple 
from the standpoint of the winds, for now they helped the 
ship along its course, whereas, before, they had been a con- 
stant hindrance. But the men were so sick with the scurvy, 
and the provisions Uterally so "rotten," that it was a race 
with death. Yet some explorations of the coast were made, 
to supplement what they had done on the northward 
voyage, but they did not dare to stop, lest they should be 
unable to get the anchor up again. Giving up the originally 
projected exploration of the Gulf of California, the genercd 

"as the sick were dying of hunger because they could not ee^ 
what was on board the ship on account of their sore mouths," 

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to run for the nearest point of the mainland. Coming to 
Mazatkm on February 18, Vizcaino and five men, who 
alone on the ship were able to walk, went ashore to look for 

''Without knowing the way, he traveled thirteen leagues inland 
through mountains and rugged places, for the pueblo of Ma- 

but lost his way. Fortunately he chanced upon a pack- 
train, and was thus enabled to get help to his conurades. 
With rest and proper food the men soon got well, and took 
up the voyage to Acapulco, which they reached on March 


Meanwhile the Tres Reyes had been driven north to Cape 
Blanco. By that time Martfn de Aguilar, the commander, 
and Antonio Mores, the pilot, had died, whereupon the boat- 
swain, Esteban L6pez, turned the boat aroimd and sailed for 
New Spain, reaching Navidad on February 26, 1603. Two 
men besides the two officers had died. The narrative of this 
voyage, as told by the presumably ignorant boatswain, gave 
rise to one of the most fruitful of the Strait of Ani&n stories. 
Six leagues above Point Reyes, he said, they came upon ''a 
very, very great river*' from the southeast, — evidently 
Tomales Bay. Farther north 

"in 41®, near Cape Mendocino, they found a very great bay, 
into which there entered a mighty river from the northern shore. 
It runs with such a strong current that although they were a day 
strug^ing against it with the wind behind them they could not 
enter it more than two leagues." 

Through what seems to have been a mistake of the Fran- 
ciscan historian Torquemada, this was stated as in 43^, the 
limit of the voyage, but the boatswain said it was "near 
Cape Mendocino,'' and at another place in his account 
intimated that it was below it. This agreed with the charts 
of the voyage, which entered "Aguilar's River" in 41** and 
Cape Mendocino in 41^ 30'. In course of time this river be- 
came an almost transcontinental stream, or at the least a 
great western sea, in the imaginations of the mapmakers. 

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There seems to be nothing in the place indicated to cor^ 
respond even remotely to the description. It is a tempta- 
tion, however, to believe that the boatswain, relying upon 
memory, was confused and that Humboldt Bay, which is 
''near'' Cape Mendocino, though north of it, was the famous 
great bay discovered by Aguilar. At all events, both the 
San Diego and the Tres Reyes missed the real great bay with 
the powerfid river, for they did not get si^t of the Bay of 
San Francisco, either going or coming. 

Hie voyage of Vizcaino had been a distinct success. 
Despite the great difficulties he had encountered, including 
the loss of from forty-two to forty-eight men (according 
to different estimates made), he had carried out, to the full 
and thoroughly, the orders of the viceroy, though it had not 
been possible, owing to the storms and the sickness of the 
men, to explore the coasts above Monterey so carefully as 
he had up to that point. Fortunately for his fame as a dis- 
coverer, two things occurred: the reports of his voyage 
became widely known, and soon were embodied in printed 
works; and, since the voyage was not followed up, the legend 
of Monterey, to say nothing of Aguilar's River, was allowed 
to stand. The Conde de Monterey now had nothing but 
words of praise for the erstwhile ''mere trader,'' and ap- 
pointed him to the lucrative post of commander of the next 
galleon bound for Manila. Suitable rewards were also given 
to others who had taken part in the expedition. It now 
becomes pertinent to enquire why the plan for the occupa- 
tion of Monterey, or at least for its utilization as a port of 
r^ge for the galleon, was given up. In 1603, shortly aft^ 
Vizcaino's return, the Conde de Monterey was succeeded as 
viceroy by the Marqu^ de Montesclaros, who not only 
threw cold water on the plans of his predecessor but also 
acted in a manner displaying either spite or else a desire for 
graft. In a letter to the king' he objected to the former 
viceroy's having appointed Vizcaino as commander of the 
galleon sailing from Acapulco in 1604, six months after 
Montesclaros himself should be in office. He had counter- 


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manded the order, and made Vizcaino alcalde mayor (chief 
justice and mayor) of Tehuantepec, which he stated was 
fully as much as he deserved. Later he claimed that 
Vizcaino had tried to bribe him to make him commander of 
the galleon, wherefore he dismissed him from the service. The 
fate of Martinez, the expert cartographer, was even worse. 
The Conde de Monterey had given him a rich appointment 
on the galleon. Not only did Montesclaros deprive him of 
this, but also caused charges to be brought against him for 
forgery, and Martinez was condemned and hanged. These 
measures produced a distinctly unfavorable impression at 
court, and there were several royal decrees of 1606 whose 
combined purport was the following: Vizcaino was to be 
made general of the galleon leaving Acapulco in 1607, and 
was to make a thorough survey of Monterey on the return 
voyage, with a view to founding a settlement there; upon 
his arrival in New Spain he was to be given a number of 
colonists of the best type, to take to Monterey; these men 
were to be offered such inducements as might seem to be 
necessary (presumably lands, with the Indians in bondage) ; 
and a considerable sum of money out of the royal treasury 
was to be provided for the enterprise. 

Montesclaros now foimd a new way to evade the issue. 
The galleon for 1607 had sailed before the king's orders 
came, he wrote,' and Vizcaino himself had gone to Spain. 
It was true that there ought to be a port of refuge for the 
galleon, but it should be nearer Japan, for it was from the 
Philippines to just beyond Japan that the worst storms were 
encoimtered; when the galleon reached the Calif omias, the 
voyage was nearly over, for it required only twenty-five to 
thirty days to run down the coast to Acapulco, with a 
favoring wind, too, to help the ship on its way. The best 
thing to do would be to find the two islands called Rica de 
Oro and Rica de Plata in 34"" to 35^ somewhere far to the 
west of Monterey. 

This revived an old story of uncertain origin. At some 
time in 1584-1585, when Pedro de Moya was viceroy, a 

•May 23, 1607, 

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letter was addressed to him by a certain Father Andrte de 
Aguirre. Aguirre said that he was with Urdaneta in 1565 
when that sailor-friar established the Manila galleon 
service and that Urdaneta showed him a copy of a document 
about certain rich islands in the Pacific. Strange as was the 
account of Father Aguirre, it is worth inserting, for it was 
this tale, as used by Montesclaros, that changed the course 
of California history. As Aguine remembered it, the gist of 
the story was as follows: 

"A Portuguese ship sailed from Malacca for the islands of Japan 
and at the city of Canton took on board Chinese goods. Arriving 
within sight of Japan she encountered a storm comii^^ from the 
west, so severe that it was impossible to fetch those islands and 
she ran before it imder very httle sail for eight days, the weather 
being very thick and no land having been seen. On the ninth day 
the storm was spent and the weather cleared, and they made two 
large islands. They reached one of these at a good port well peo- 
pled, there being a great city surrounded by a good stone wall. 
There were many large and medium sized vessels in port. Inune- 
diately on their entering the harbor there flocked to the ship a 
great number of persons weU-dressed and eared for and manifest'- 
ing much affection for the people of the ship. The lord of that 
island and city, learning that they were merchants, sent to the 
captain of the ship to say that he and those of his people he might 
select should come ashore without anyfear that they would do them 
harm. On the contrary, he assured them, they should be received 
well, and he requested that they diould bring with them the mani- 
fest of the goods the ship brought, for they would take them and 
trade for them to their content. The captain conununicated this 
to his people, and it was resolved that the notary of the ship should 
be sent a^ore with the manifest and two merchants, one a Portu- 
guese and the other an Armenian, residents of Malacca. The lord 
of the land received them in his house, which was large and well 
built, and treated them with affection, making them presents, 
they imderstanding one another by signs. The land was very rich 
in silver and other things, silk and clothing. The notary and the 
Portuguese merchant returned to the ship in order to land mer- 
chandise and store it in a building which was assigned to them for 
that purpose, while the Armenian remained with the lord of the 
land and was treated very hospitably. The merchandise having 
been taken ashore, and a vast number of persons coming to pur- 
chase it, bringing a great quantity of silver, it came to pass that 
in some thirty days they sold all the ((oods, making great gains, 

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80 that all became very rich, and they loaded the ship with silver. 
During the time that they were on the island they learned that 
the loni was suzerain of the other island also, which was within 
sight, four leagues away, and of others which were near to these, 
all being rich in silver and very populous. This people is white and 
well-formed, well cared for and clothed in silk and fine clothing of 
ootton; an affectionate and very affable people. The language dif- 
fers from that of the Chinese as well as that of the Japanese, and 
is readily learned, for, in less than forty days that the Portuguese 
passed on the island, they were able to converse with the natives. 
These islands abound in the means of maintaining life well — rice, 
which is the bread they use; fowls like ours in great number; tame 
ducks and many hogs; goats; buffaloes and deer and wild boars 
in great abimdance; various birds and game and fishes many and 
good, and a great plenty of many kinds of fruit. The climate of the 
land is very good and healthy. These islands are in from thirty 
five to forty degrees. The difference in longitude between them 
and Japan cannot be arrived at, because they had run before the 
gale and the weatlier was very thick and obscure. They ran from 
Japan to the eastward; and, having disposed of their merchandise, 
they returned to Malacca. They named these islands, out of re- 
gard for the Armenian merchant, who was greatly respected by 
the people of the ship, 'Isles of the Armenian/ '' 

These were the islands which, as "Rica de Ore" and 
"Bica de Plata," Montesclaros now proposed to fiind. 
Shortly afterward* he brought his guns to bear on the 
project for a settlement at Monterey. This time he used the 
plea which rarely failed, whatever the angle from which it 
was introduced, — ^that of foreign danger. The greatest 
strength of the royal dominions in the Pacific, he said, was 
that of the difficulty the king's enemies had in getting there or 
in remaining, after they had arrived. It was on that account 
that they had been so desirous of finding a strait above Cape 
Mendocino. To settle Monterey, therefore, would endanger 
the Spanish empire, for it might serve as a port where 
enemies as well as Spaniards could refit and procure supplies. 
And he had already pointed out that Monterey was not 
necessary for the galleon, while in addition it was too far 
away from New Spain to be armed against impending 

•Aug. 4, 1607. 

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The ideas of Montesclaros bore fruit. The uncil of the 
Indies gave up the plan for a colony at ^^outerey, and 
diverted the funds to a wild-goose chase for the two mys- 
terious islands. The story of Yizcafno's voyage of 161 1-1613 
to Japan and of his fruitless search for the two islands has 
already been told. Meanwhile Alta California was saved for 
over a hundred and fifty years in the blissful obscurity it 
needed if the English colonists who were just making their 
first successful settlements along the Atlantic coast were 
ever to have their opportunity to acquire the golden area on 
the Pacific. Out of it all, Vizcaino retained his fame as the 
discoverer of the wonderful port of Monterey, — ^though 
neither was he the discoverer nor was the port wonderful, — 
but he lost his chance to become the California PortoU, as 
Ascensi6n, perhaps, its Serra. Yet, despite his over- 
enthusiastic exaggeration, he had played the part of a thor- 
ough-going man.^<* 

^ Such a vast body of materials on 
Viscalno has been uncovered in re- 
cent years that the career of this im* 
portant figure in Gahf omia history 
ought to be made the subject of a doc- 
tonlthe8i& Several transcripts (in the 
Bancroft library) from documents in 
the Archivo General de Indias of Se- 
ville, Spain, have been used in the 
preparation of this chapter, though the 
following items were moi« particularly 
relied upon: 

1. Doeumenia from (he Stdro edUeO' 

Hon, orur. Sp. and tr. ed. by 
George Butler Griffin, in His* 
toricai society of southern 
California, PvbUcatians, v, II, 
ptL Los Angeles. 1891. Fif- 
teen of the nineteen docu- 
ments range in date from 1584 
to 1603. Five of them were 
made use of in the preceding 
chapter, and the other ten 

2. Doeumenioa rrfermUeB al reconr 

odmiento de Uu coetaa de Uu 
Calif ormas deeds d Cabo de San 
Luau al de Mendocino, ed. by 

Francisco Carrasco y Guisar 
sola. Madrid. 1882. This con- 
tains forty-four documents 
ransoig in date from 1584 to 
1609. Many of the more im- 
portant appear in item 1 
above. Some of the others 
were also used. 

3. Spaniah explaratton in the eouth" 

toe^ ISjiB-irOS. tr. ed. by 
Herbert Eugene Bolton (New 
York. 1916), in Original ruxrror 
Uoee <4 early American history 
series. This contains a trans- 
lation into English of a diary 
(attributed to Viscafno) of the 
1602-1603 voyage and of the 
relation written in 1620 by 
Father Ascensi6n. a memb^ 
of the same expedition. 

4. Torquemada, Juan de. Primera 

lacQunda, tercera^ parte de loe 
veMe i vn Ubroe riiualee i monn 
arehia indiana, v. I. Madrid. 
1793. This acooimt is the one 
that has heretofore been almost 
the only source for material 
about viscafno. It has some 
facta not appearing elsewhere. 

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The general factors governing early California history in 
so far as they bear upon European approaches by sea have 
now been set forth in such detail that it is possible to con- 
dense the material of this kind for the period elapsing 
between the end of Vizcaino's efforts and the Portold ex- 
pedition of 1769. The dif&culties of getting a foothold 
through expeditions by sea have been illustrated by the ex- 
periences of Cortes, Rodriguez Cabrillo, Drake, Rodriguez 
Cermenho, Vizcaino, and others. It is time, therefore, that 
more attention be paid to the problems of overland conquest 
toward the Califomias, as they involved the principal ele- 
ment of success in the project of occupying the Califomias, 
that of an advancing base of supplies. 

As has already been pointed out, the definitive occupation 
of Mexico City by Cortes in 1521 marked the establishment 
of a base of operations, whence the Spaniards were to pro- 
ceed to the effective conquest of New Spain. The region 
between Mexico City and Panamd was soon taken over, for 
both points served as bases, the Indians were comparatively 
unwarlike, distances were not great, and the continent was 
narrow and therefore easily overrun, though here as else- 
where the infiltration of Spanish civilization, as distinguished 
from mere dominance of the military and the religious, was 
a long and time-requiring process. To the north the pro- 
blems were infinitely greater. The land widened, and 
geographical barriers became more serious, the area was 
greater than the resources of Spain could hope to reduce, 
the Indians were less nearly civilized and more difficult to 


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overcome, and the competition of the EngUsh^ French, and 
Russians made itself more manifest. For a nmnber of years 
after 1521 Spain showed small concern over the greatness of 
her task. She made conquests in the New World for the 
ready-made wealth she found there, and no distance was too 
great for her intrepid adventurers to go, if only there were a 
prospect of riches. This was the age, therefore, of the 
''aggressive aggressive," — of conquests for the sake of what 
they would yield. From the time of Drake in 1579, however, 
Spain began to show the caution and conservatism of the 
property-owner. The adventurers had in the main settled 
down. They now had vast estates, with Indians in servi^ 
tude upon them (that is, entxmiendas), and they procured 
financial retm-ns by the slower means of mining, stock- 
raising, agriculture, and commerce, rather than by plunder. 
These men wanted security, and the government, which 
profited in the same ratio that they did, wanted it also. Off 
on the frontiers were men of the old stamp of the am' 
quistadoreSf or conquerors, but th^ were held in leash lest 
they endanger the settled wealth of the abready subjected 
territories. Now and then, they were allowed to go ahead 
in pursuit of some definite and reasonably safe advantage 
or to ward off a threatened peril. The long period of the 
"aggressive defensive" had begun, — of occasional con- 
quests, that is, the bett^ to ensure what Spain already 

Northward expansion from Mexico City may be said to 
have followed three principal lines : northwestward to Sonora 
and the Calif omias; up the central plateau through Nueva 
Vizcaya (about co-extensive with the present-day states of 
Durango and Chihuahua) to New Mexico; similarly, but 
branching off to run through Coahuila into Texas. A 
fourth line, basing in early days on Tampico, and, later, on 
Mexico City and Quer^taro, ran to Nuevo Le6n and Nuevo 
Santander (Tamaulipas), and slightly into Texas. This was 
hardly so important as the others. It was the first of these 
routes that concerned itself more particularly with the his- 
tory of California, but, yet, all four were closely related, — 

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80 much SO that events along the eastern lines of advance 
had a vital connection with that which led to the Calif omias. 
All went ahead at relatively the same rate of progress, except 
the much shorter fourth movement. MiUtary and explor- 
ing expeditions made side trips that crossed different lines of 
advance. All were related by the problem of Indian warfare, 
especially against the Apaches, who were wont to appear in 
all sections, often going from one to another according as 
resistance to their raids was strong or weak. All were threat- 
ened by foreign aggressions from the northeast, for the 
Colorado River of the west was beUeved to be a route making 
the western provinces almost as accessible to the French or 
English as those in the east. Some or all of the regions along 
the four lines of advance were at different times under the 
same political rule, or served as a field for the same body of 
religious, or were part of the same diocese. Finally, aU of 
these regions had much the same internal problems, poli- 
tical, economic, and social, and all were under the viceroy, 
or, in the latest period, under the commandant-general of the 
frontier provinces. Before proceeding to a consideration of 
northwestward advance, it is worth while to give an idea of 
the sweep of the other lines of conquest. 

Naturally, the line of advance through Nueva Vizcaya to 
New Mexico was most closely related, because nearest, to 
the movement through Sonora. The same Indian wars 
often affected both. The Jesuits were in western Nueva 
Vizcaya as well as in Sinaloa and Sonora until 1767. Sinaloa 
and Sonora were included in the government of Nueva 
Vizcaya until 1734, and formed part of the same diocese 
under the bishop of Durango until 1779, when a bishopric 
was created for Sinaloa, Sonora, and the Califomias. The 
first great name in the history of Nueva Vizcaya is that of 
Francisco de Ibarra, who set up a government there in the 
middle of the sixteenth century. By the end of that century 
the line of settlement had reached southern Chihuahua. 
Next there was a gap, beyond which lay New Mexico, 
settled by the Ofiate expedition of 1598. By the close of the 
seventeenth centtuy the line of settlement had approached 

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or reached the Rfo Grande; for examplei the presidios of 
Pasage, Gallo, Conchos, Janos, and Gasas Grandes were 
abeady in existence. In the eighteenth century there were 
many changes in presidial sites, the general movement being 
to suppress the more southerly presidios and establish new 
ones toward the Rio Grande. Similarly the missions ad- 
vanced, and the region behind them was gradually yielded 
over to the secular clergy. In 1767, according to statistics 
compiled by Bishop Tamar6n, Nueva Vizcaya had a 
Christian population of 120,000, divided evenly between 
Chihuahua and Durango, its northern and southern 
divisions; but while Durango had 46,000 civilized people, 
there were but 23,000 in Chihuahua.^ Meanwhile, New 
Mexico had enjoyed great prosperity until 1680, when all 
was destroyed by an Indian revolt, and the land was not 
reconquered until over a decade later. By the end of the 
eighteenth century there may have been 20,000 civilized 
people in the province, and 10,000 Christian Indians. 

Along the Coahuila line Parras and Saltillo in southern 
Coahuila were occupied by the end of the sixteenth century, 
although these two settlements were under the government 
of Nueva Vizcaya until 1786. Coahuila never enjoyed 
striking prosperity. By the close of the seventeenth century 
Monclova was the most northerly presidio, while the mis- 
sions had passed on to the Rio Grande. Early in the 
eighteenth century the presidios reached that river. The 
total Christian population of Coahuila in 1780 was about 
8,000, of whom 2,000 were Indians. The addition of 
Saltillo and Parras in 1786 doubled the population. The 
most interesting portion of this line was the Texas ex- 
tremity. In the sixteenth century there were voyages along 
the coast and overland incursions from New Mexico and 
even from Florida, but no settlements. Between 1686 and 
1688 La Salle made a disastrous attempt to found a French 
colony on Matagorda Bay. This incident, joined to tales of 

^The term "civilised people" is mixed blood or even negroes. In fine, 
used for what Spaniards called genU all but Indians were included. 
d9 roMon, includmg those of white or 

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fabulous wealth in the land of the Tejas in eastern Texas, 
induced the Spaniards to send an expedition in 1689 under 
Governor Le6n of Coahuila, which in the next few years led 
to the establishing of missions east of the Trinity. These 
failed, but on the renewal of French activities, this time from 
the Mobile district, several missions and a presidio were 
founded in eastern Texas in 1716. In 1718 establishments 
were made at San Antonio, and the Texas boundary was 
moved westward from the Trinity River to the San Antonio, 
on the borders of Coahuila. In 1721 a presidio was placed 
near the coast at Espfritu Santo, and the eastern settlements 
(which had been destroyed by the French) were reestablished 
and strengthened. Between 1745 and 1763 several new posts 
were founded, notably in northern Texas, but the northern- 
most of these, on the San Gabriel and San Saba rivers, were 
soon abandoned. By the cession of Louisiana to Spain in 
1762 the French peril, the dominating note in Texas history 
up to that time, was removed, and the eastern settlements 
were given up. In a few years, however, many of the 
Spanish settlers returned to eastern Texas. In 1782 there 
were only 2,600 civilized people in Texas, and 460 Christian 

The beginnings of Nuevo Le6n date from its colonization 
by Carabajal, late in the sixteenth century. Nothing else 
occurred that need be noted here until 1748 when Escand6n, 
coining from Quer^taro, achieved an almost bloodless con- 
quest of Nuevo Santander. His work was remarkable for 
the number of settlements formed by him, rendering the 
conquest as thorough as it had been quick and peaceful. 
Unruly Indians were soon conquered or went elsewhere, and 
this part of the frontier enjoyed imusual prosperity. 

The first great conqueror after Cort6s along the line lead- 
ing northwestward to Pimerfa Alta (as the region beyond the 
Altar River was called) and the Califomias was Nufio de 
Guzmdn. In 1529 he set out from Mexico City with an army 
of five hundred Spaniards and perhaps ten thousand native 
alhes, and by 1531 had passed through Jalisco to Sinaloa, 
reducing the country along his line of march. At one stroke 

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over half the territory between Mexico City and Alta 
California had been traversed and made known to the 
Spaniards, and much of it remained definitively conquered. 

In 1540 came the great expedition of V&zquez de Coronado 
in search of the Seven Cities and the kingdom of Quiyira, 
induced by the already-mentioned wanderings of Alvar 
Ntlfiez Cabeza de Vaca and the journey of exploration by 
Marcos de Niza. V&zquez led an army through Sonora to 
New Mexico, and from there to Kansas, returning to New 
Spain in 1542. It was as a part of this expedition that Mel- 
chor Dfaz marched through Sonora to the Colorado River. 
Indeed, he crossed that river, and thereby entered the 
California^, though several miles below the Alta Califomia 
line, it would seem. Failing to find the party of Alarc6n, 
which had come to about the same point by sea, the Diaz 
expedition returned. 

Great overland expeditions to the northwest, aside from 
the journeys of individuals, now ceased for over two cen- 
turies, though they continued periodically along the north- 
ward lines of advance to the east. One of these expeditions, 
that of Oiiate, who conquered New Mexico in 1598, had 
ramifications which took it to the Colorado River. This 
occurred in 1604-1605, when Onate marched westward 
along Bill WilUams Fork to the Colorado, and descended 
the latter to its mouth, after which he returned to New 

With the expedition of Ofiate to the mouth of the Colorado 
the age of the canquiatadores along the northwestward line 
of advance may be said to have closed. Cort6s, Guzm^, 
Vdzquez, and Onate had led expeditions which made a per- 
manent conquest of large areas and developed a preliminary 
knowledge of nearly the whole field subsequently occupied, 
though Ofiate's principal achievements were more directly 
in Une with the advance through Nueva Vizcaya to New 
Mexico. These men were followed, perhaps in the wake of 
other expeditions of lesser note (or sometimes preceding 
them), by soldiers, missionaries, and civiUans, all of Spanish 
blood, in part at least. The majority of the civiUans were 

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miners, though a number were also engaged in stock-raising 
and other pursuits characteristic of frontier life. This was a 
second phase of the conquest. Eventually^ in a portion of 
the field there came a third phase, when settled orderly 
government appeared, the military and the religious moved 
on, the secular clergy replaced the regular, and civilians 
entered in greater numbers and engaged in a greater variety 
of occupations than before. This was the final stage, when 
the particular region ceased to partake of the attributes of a 
frontier province. In all three stages the Spanish elements 
were a very small minority, but provided the ruling class. 
The mass of the people was, from first to last, Indian. 
Some of the Indians resisted the Spaniards, and were driven 
away or killed, but usually they submitted to their con- 
querors, and, though strictly ruled and virtually enslaved, 
were permitted to remain. 

It is pertinent at this point to enquire into the precise 
services rendered by the three great Spanish elements in the 
conquest: the miUtary, the religious, and the civilians. Of 
the three, perhaps the most vitally essential element was the 
military, for without its aid neither of the other elements 
could proceed very far, even though the two latter contri- 
buted most to the eventual pacification and settled develop- 
ment of a region. The number of soldiers was always small, 
but their presence in the first and second stages of conquest 
was a sine qua nan of the Spanish occupation. Their ex- 
peditions into unoccupied territory, whether for punitive 
objects or for purposes of exploration, were the most im- 
portant preliminaries of the conquest; even in the frequent 
journeys of missionaries into the interior, soldiers were 
usually taken along as a more or less indispensable escort. 
Once occupation of a region had taken place, a presidial 
force of forty or fifty men was a sufficient garrison for a wide 
area, so superior were they in fighting equipment and mili- 
tary methods to the natives, however brave the Indiana 
might be. A mission guard of from one to five or six soldiers 
also served to keep hundreds of mission Indians, or even a 
thousand, in check, while without this military support the 

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missioiis could not be sustained. To a certain extent, too, 
the military contributed to economic development through 
the great presidial stock farms, but these were in no small 
degree more a hindrance than a help; Indian trouble too 
often became an asset of the presidial capitalist, who might 
thereby rid himself of the competition of civilian rivals, 
while utilizing the troops to protect his own stock. 

Second only to the military as an agency in the subjection 
of the Indians, and much more prominent as a constructive 
social and economic factor, were the religious of the mis- 
sionary orders. The Franciscans, Dominicans, and Jesuits 
were the orders which had a share in northwestward ad- 
vance and the conversion of the Calif omias, but for nearly 
two centuries the Jesuits were by far the most important. 
Neither the missionary orders nor the secular arm of the 
church acted on their own initiative, for the church in the 
Americas was almost as completely subordinate to the king 
of Spain as the miUtary were. By the institution known as 
the Patronato Real (Royal Patronage) the king had received 
from the papacy the entire secular administration of the 
church in the American colonies. It was the king or his 
sub-delegates who appointed church dignitaries and lesser 
fimctionaries, from archbishop down to priest or friar, made 
provision for their salaries, built their churches, approved 
or ordered their policies, and paid the score. The missionary 
was a direct royal agent; not a mission could be founded or a 
missionary go to the frontier without the assent of the royal 
authorities, and indeed the religious were sometimes thrust 
into an enterprise (as for example the occupation of Alta 
California — of which, later) against their pronounced ob- 
jections. Usually, however, missionary zeal outran the 
royal will for their employment, for missionaries and mis- 
sions involved expenditures, and the government was none 
too lavish with its funds unless it could see a likelihood of 
advantageous returns. Naturally, the Patronato Real did not 
include a right to intervene in the realm of the spiritual, but 
there was little else which the popes reserved. 

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The missionaries accompanied the troops in the first two 
stages of the conquest. They went with them on their mili- 
tary expeditions or even preceded them into new territory on 
journeys of exploration, though, as already stated, they were 
usually attended by a small escort of soldiers. The principal 
function of the religious, however, came in the second stage 
of the conquest, through the institution of the mission. The 
mission system employed by the Spaniards was much the 
same in all of their dominions, in Alta California (at a later 
time) as elsewhere, being subject to the same laws and the 
same body of oflBcials. The principal objects, as stated by 
the laws, were to convert the natives and lift them out of 
their savagery and barbarism, to a state of civilization. 
These were indeed the primary objects of the missionaries 
themselves, but they were secondary to other factors in the 
attention of the royal government. The mission was an 
effective support of the troops in keeping the Indians of a 
particular region in subjection, and in this way contributed, 
through the security it gave, to the protection of the royal 
domain from other Indians and from foreigners beyond the 
frontier. Thus it assisted in actual conquests — ^and much 
more cheaply than the soldiers necessary to take their place 
would have cost. Ultimately, too, the Indians would be- 
come a source of profit to the crown, for those who had sub- 
mitted to Spanish authority were required by law to pay an 
annual tribute, though this was remitted for the Indians 
still in missions. 

A mission was founded through a process of voluntary con- 
version, by gathering the Indians of a community or Ihnited 
region into a "reduction'* (redticcidn), or mission village. 
No Spaniards other than the missionaries, the mission 
guard, and an occasional civilian ofiicial could stop at the 
mission or reside there. Persuasion, usually to the accom- 
paniment of gifts of food, clothing, and tobacco, or trinkets 
which appealed to the child-like fancy of the natives, was 
generally employed to induce acceptance by the Indians of 
the mission idea. Once they entered the mission, however, 
there was no legal escape for them until such time as the 

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royal government should give them their release, and 
emancipation meant taxation in the shape of the annual 
tribute. The salaries of missionaries and a certain initial 
sum were provided at state expense, besides miUtary pro- 
tection, but the mission was supposed to procure all else that 
it needed, by means of its own industry or through the gifts of 
pious individuals. Usually there were two religious at a 
mission and a corporal at the head of four or five soldiers, 
but at times a single missionary and fewer troops were em- 
ployed. Beyond the limits of the mission proper, but with- 
in a day or two's journey at the farthest, there were ptieblos 
de visita (villages of visit), or visitaSf where the missionaries 
went occasionally to perform religious services. In the visiUis 
there was a representative of the missionary in the person of 
the Indian ''master of doctrine," but in other respects the 
visita Indians retained their liberty. On the other hand they 
did not. share in economic benefits, such as the receipt of 
tobacco, foody and clothing, to the same extent as the 
Indians of the mission. 

Except for a certain amount of independence on the part 
of the military escort, which, however, was in most respects 
under the orders of the religious, the missionaries were like 
absolute monarchs in their narrow realm. Subject only to 
their superiors in the religious and political hierarchy, they 
were the spiritual, and political, and even economic masters of 
the mission. In theory the mission belonged to the Indians, 
who owned it in common, but it was administered under the 
direction of the missionaries, whose word was law. The 
Indians indeed elected their own petty poUtical officers, but 
the missionaries in fact decided for whom they should vote. 
There can be no question but that the missionaries were 
devoted to the welfare of the Indian, but it seemed to them 
necessary, if his soul were to be saved and his intelligence 
quickened, that his body should first be enslaved. The 
spiritual training of the Indian resolved itself into learning 
the catechism and the vocabulary, or outward forms and 
ceremonies, of religious services; it was hardly possible for 
his imdeveloped mind to grasp the philosophical tenets of 

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the Christian faith. Services were frequently held,— per- 
haps two masses a day on week-days and more on Sundays, 
at all of which attendance was compulsory. The Indian was 
also required to work. The men tended flocks, or engaged in 
agriculture, while the women and children were taught weav- 
ing and spinning. Indeed, there was an extraordinary 
variety of tasks performed, for the missions were intended 
to be economically self-sustaining; not infrequently they 
produced a surplus which might be applied to assist more 
backward missions. Discipline was strict and severe. 
Native officials inflicted whippings or other penalties 
upon the recalcitrant, by order of the missionaries, but the 
more serious oflfences were tmmed over for punishment to the 
corporal of the guard. Unaccustomed either to working or 
to submission to discipline the Indians often endeavored to 
run away, but were pursued and brought back. To lessen 
the opportunity of escape, walls were constructed around 
the mission, and the Indians were locked up at night. All 
in all, the institution of the Spanish mission was one of the 
most interesting examples of "benevolent despotism" that 
human history records. 

By law a mission was supposed to endure for a period of 
not longer than ten years, but in practice the term was 
much longer — even a century or more. In fact the end of 
mission rule depended more upon civilian colonization of a 
region than upon the instruction afforded in the mission; 
when a region had filled up with whites sufficiently to be 
safe for the crown, the mission might be dispensed with. 
The objects of the missionaries, benevolent though they 
were, were foredoomed to failure, for the Indians were 
rarely capable of absorbing civilization in any real sense of 
the term. Indeed, the close of mission rule usually saw the 
Indian revert to his former state, if he were not killed off by the 
white man ; the mission at least prolonged the h ves of many of 
the Indians. Its real importance, however, was as an agency of 
Spanish conquest. In this respect its effects were permanent. * 

* The best presentation of the mis- mission as a frontier institvHon in the 
sion system in brief scope ever writ- Spanish-American colonies, in Amer- 
ten is th^t of Herbert E. Bolton, The ican historical review^ XXIII, 42-61. 

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The civilian whites' began to make themselves felt in the 
second stage of the conquest, and no conquest was complete 
until they had taken it over in the third stage as the controll- 
ing element. The history of their activities while a given 
region was still in a frontier state has never been adequately 
presented or even much studied. Most that we know of 
them has been derived from the works of the rehgious, who 
were primarily concerned with their own achievements and 
not interested in the civilian element, except as they found 
occasion to pronoxmce against them*. Unquestionably 
the most important of the civilians along the northwestward 
line of conquest were the miners. Indeed, the route of the 
conquerors followed that of mineral wealth in precious 
metals. These men generally did their work by means of 
Indian labor in a state of virtual slavery. Traders, stock- 
raisers, and farmers came in to some extent, but the two 
latter were at a disadvantage, for they had to meet the com- 
petition of presidial and mission ranches. As already stated, 
the civilians took entire possession when it became time for 
the military and the religious to move on. With the civilian 
element should be included the secular church, with its 
hierarchy of officialdom ranging from archbishop or bishop 
down to the curate, or priest. The secular church entered a 
region only in the third stage of conquest, and sometimes 
rather late in that. When this arm of the church arrived, it 
was time for the soldier, missionary, and civilian pioneer 
to depart; indeed, the friars were often obliged to serve as 
curates, after the mission had disappeared, before the 
secular church came on the scene. 

The crucial stage of the conquest, then, was the second, 
and this was the period when the greatest variety of widely 
diflFering elements came into play. These elements, to 
be sure, were controlled by the same fountain-head, the 

'Including as "white" all ele- dous quantity in the archives of 

ments of the gerUe de raz&n. See note Spain and Spanish America. The 

on page 146, supra. best materiab, however, such as the 

* Much information should result letters and business records of private 

from a perusal of official correspond- individuals, have probably, nearly all 

ence, which is available in stupen- of them, disappeared. 

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king (acting through his Council of the Indies and the 
viceroy), but they were rarely able to work together in en- 
tire harmony. In particular, the military and the civilians 
were constantly disputing with the religious. Questions of 
jurisdiction and relative authority were always to the fore 
as between the military and the religious; political rule 
'was invariably given in charge of the former, but in some 
respects the missionaries were not subject to them. The 
civilians were opposed to the religious on economic grounds. 
The missionaries had been first on the scene, and had there- 
fore had first pick of the lands. The civilians wanted the 
mission lands and the Indian labor upon them. Arguments 
frequently turned on other matters than those which were in 
fact uppermost in the minds of the parties to the conflict. 
The civilians, for example, accused the reUgious of ill-treating 
the Indians and of retaining the missions much longer than 
was necessary. As for the Indians, who after all were the per- 
sons most vitaUy concerned, the restraints and punishments 
of the mission were indeed irksome to them, wherefore many, 
with their minds on the objectionable thing nearest at hand, 
supplied evidence for the civilians. Perhaps the majority 
realized, however, that their lot under civilian control would 
be far worse, and it is no doubt true that a great many were 
devoted to the missionaries and content with mission life, 
to which ia course of time they became accustomed. It is 
to be borne in mind that the general conditions of what has 
been termed here the second stage of the Spanish conquests 
applied la the case of Alta California imder Spain and 
Mexico, just as it did to Nueva Galicia (the name of Guz- 
man's conquests), Sinaloa, and Sonora in the period under 

Coming now to the details, the age of the conquistadorea 
along the northwestward line was quickly over, and the work 
of conquest in its second and third phases came steadily to 
the fore. Guzmdn founded a settlement as far north as 
Culiacdn, Sinaloa, in 1531. By 1550 an audienda for the 
government of Nueva Galicia was established; this was 
located for a time at Compostela, but soon afterward moved 

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to Guadalajara. L6pez de Velasco, writing between 1671 
and 1574, said there were as many as 1500 Spaniards in 
Nueva Galicia, which at the time included most of New 
Spain north of Mexico City. There were thirty-one or 
thirty-two settlements, of which fifteen or sixteen were 
mining camps. Guadalajara was the largest town, with a 
Spanish population of 150. The only settlement in what 
later became Sinaloa was Culiac^ with about thirty 
Spaniards. There were no Spaniards in Sonora. An in- 
crease in the population of Sinaloa came in 1596, when the 
presidio of San Felipe de Sinaloa, the first in that province, 
was established, with a garrison of twenty-five men. Mean- 
while, the Franciscans, Dominicans, and Jesuits had been 
making converts, so that the region south of Sinaloa had be- 
come Christian, nominally at least, by the end of the six- 
teenth century, and after some futile revolts it was defin- 
itely reduced to the Spanish crown. The erection of a 
bishopric in Michoac^ in 1537 may be regarded as a 
first step in the third phase of the conquest. So, despite the 
scant white population of Nueva Galicia, that part of it 
lying south of Sinaloa was fast losing the characteristics of a 
frontier province. 

Up to 1591 not many conversions had been made in 
Sinaloa, but in that year the Jesuits reached there, and the 
real work began. Father Zapata's report of 1678 shows that 
by that time Sinaloa had been thoroughly reduced. The 
province had been Christianized, and had a white popular 
tion of six hundred. In addition, there were many more of 
part Spanish blood; at San Felipe de Sinaloa alone there 
were 1200 of Spanish or mixed blood. The missionaries 
and civilians were supported by two presidios, Fuerte de 
Montesclaros having been added in 1610. The occupation 
of Sonora did not begin until early in the seventeenth cen- 
tury, the successful military campaigns of Diego Martinez 
de Hurdaide paving the way. The Jesuits took charge of the 
mission work and made rapid progress. By 1678 there were 
twenty-eight missions in Sonora, serving seventy-two vil- 
lages with a combined population of about 40,000. There 

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were perhaps five hundred people of Spanish or part Spanish 
blood, a large proportion of them engaged in mining. Thus, 
by the end of the seventeenth century Sinaloa had attained 
to the comparative freedom from frontier characteristics 
that the region to the south of it had reached a himdred 
years before. The latter was now definitely off the frontier. 
Sonora, however, was in the midst of the second stage of con- 
quest, and had such problems in the shape of hostile Indians 
that its early emergence into a settled state could not be 
expected ; indeed, events were to prove that it was much more 
than a century behind Sinaloa in this respect. 

By the close of the seventeenth century the conquest had 
been carried almost to the limits of modem Sonora by way 
of the Sonora valley. This route led the Spaniards some- 
what inland, leaving a large stretch of coast to the south and 
west as yet unoccupied. In this district were the Seri 
Indians, destined to cause trouble during the greater part of 
the eighteenth century. Northeast of the Sonora valley was 
a little-known region whence was to come an even more 
terrible enemy, — ^the savage Apaches. Due to the hostility 
of these two peoples, Sonora was fated to remain a frontier 
province. Until near the close of the seventeenth century 
another district of Sonora, offering less difficulties than the 
other two, though by no means an easy field for conquest, 
lay open. This was the region between the Altar and Gila 
rivers, known as Pimerfa Alta, beyond which to the north- 
west was Alta California. In 1687 Father Eusebio Kino of 
the Jesuit order crossed the Altar River and founded the 
mission of Dolores. This marked the first step in the last 
stage of the conquest toward the Califomias, but the diffi- 
culties in th^ way of this further advance were perhaps 
greater than any which bad yet been f acedt 

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TO CALIFORNIA, 1615-1697 

WmiiB the Spaniards were slowly but surely advancing 
toward Alta Califomia by the overland route, which led 
through Sonora, they did not give up their efforts to reach 
that much-desired land by sea. The recommendations of 
Montesclaros against a settlement there were not perma- 
nently influential, especially after Vizcaino's failure to find 
Rica de Oro and Rica de Plata as a substitute. Neverthe- 
less, his stand in the matter had come at a crucial stage in 
imperial history, since Spain was not so well able for a 
himdred and fifty years to carry out the plans of Vizcaino 
and the Conde de Monterey as she had been at the time 
when Montesclaros nipped their projects in the bud. Spain 
in the seventeenth century was a declining power, without 
resources for extensive colonization unless she would have 
been willing to sacrifice other aims which seemed to her 
much more important. She therefore endeavored to achieve 
her objects along the lines of the sea approach to the Cali- 
fomias through reUance upon private initiative. The failure 
of this policy to bring about any great result has led his- 
torians generally to say that Spain lost interest in the 
Califomias in the seventeenth century and that the proposed 
occupation of Monterey was not revived for a century and a 
half. This attitude fails to take into account the almost 
overwhelming difi^culties of the approach by sea and is in 
direct contradiction of a more than voluminous array of 
evidence, very Uttle of which has ever been utiUzed. Some 
of these materials will be used here for the first time, to 
show that the desire for an occupation of the Califomias was 


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continuous. Not only were there memorials of friars, 
navigators, and traders (especially the pearl-seekers), and 
plans of government officials, but there was also an imending 
flow of royal decrees on this matter. Furthermore, there 
were many voyages to Baja Califomia and attempts to form 
settlements there, about which very little is known, though 
ample materials are available for study. ^ 

With his retimi from Japan in 1613-1614, Vizcaino dis- 
appears from view, though there is an unauthenticated ref- 
erence to him as commander of Spanish troops which were 
stationed at Zalagua in 1615 to resist an expected landing of 
Dutch enemies. The ideas of Vizcaino lived on, however, 
and especially his original idea about the occupation of Baja 
Califomia. He was succeeded as the principal figure in 
relation to the Califomias by a certain pearl-fishing com- 
pany, at the head of which stood Tomds and later Nicolds 
Cardona, imcle and nephew.* In 1611 Tom^ de Cardona 
procured from the royal government a monopoly of the 
pearl-fishing rights in the New World, in return for which he 
bound himself to make explorations of little known lands 
and to let his ships serve for naval purposes when needed. 
In addition, the king was to get the usual royal fifth on all 
pearls secured. A certain Basilio was placed in command of 
the Cardona fleet, and in 1613-1614 he cruised among the 
islands of the West Indies. In search of new fields he and his 
men gave up their ships, and crossed New Spain to the 
Pacific, where they arrived in 1614. There Basilio died. 
Juan de Iturbe succeeded to his position, and in 1615 had 
three ships ready at Acapulco for a voyage in Pacific waters. 

Ever since Jimenez reached Baja Califomia in 1533-1534 
the Califomias had been famed for their pearls. It will be 
remembered, too, that the original object of the Vizcaino 

^ See note at the end of this chap- ever crossed the Atlantic, and certain- 

ter. ly neither one went on the voyages to 

« Misled by the "I" or "we" in ttie Califomias. Thev used the first 
the Cardona documents, historians person as one might for a zreat corn- 
have heretofore believed that the pany of which he was the nead. All 
Cardonas themselves commanded on documents by them thus far discov- 
some of the expeditions of their ships, eied emanate from Spain. 
In fact, it is doubtful if either of them 

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company had been to fish for them. To the Cardona com- 
pany under Iturbe, however, was reserved the first recorded 
opportunity to make an organized search for the pearls of 
the Gulf of California. On March 21, 1615, Iturbe's fleet 
set sail from Acapulco, carrying many negro divers and a 
number of soldiers. Crossing to the lower end of Baja 
Califomia, Iturbe went up the coast of the gulf, landing 
frequently. At the place where Vizcaino was attacked in 
1596, Iturbe's men were also set upon by the Indians, but 
the Spaniards introduced something new in Califomia war- 
fare to win the day. Two mastiffs were loosed upon the 
Indians, and the latter, who were unacquainted with this 
strange beast, took to flight. Crossing to "Florida" (as they 
termed the mainland to the east) in what they reported as 
30^ (more likely 28°), they sailed to the head of the gulf, 
which they reached, as they said, in 34'', though the gulf 
ends a little short of 32"**. Crossing back to Baja Califomia 
they encoimtered severe storms. They were now running 
short of food, wherefore they decided to put for a port in 
New Spain. Two of the boats got to MazatMn, but the 
third was captured by the Dutch navigator Spilberg. 
In 1616 Iturbe made a voyage to the gulf with two ships, 
getting to 30°, he reported, but being obliged to return as a 
result of the northwest winds and lack of food. One of his 
ships was captured by a foreign vessel, but the flagship got 
back to New Spain. It was at once ordered to sea again to 
warn the Manila galleon of the presence of enemies. This 
it did, returning safely again to port. 

Three important facts came out of the Iturbe voyages. 
First of these was the finding of wealth in pearls. The re- 
ports of the company tended to minimize that in dealing with 
the first voyage, with an eye, no doubt, to the size of the 

' Lack of precision in a memorial coata de afuera" (by the outside 

of 1617 by Nicole de Cardona coast) of the Calif omias to 34^ the 

would make it appear (if there were latitude of Santa Monica, near Los 

not other documents from which to Angeles. What he meant was that 

check up with the actual facts) that his ships went up the "outside 

Iturbe visited Alta Califomia. Caj> coast" of the gulf* 
dona said that his fleet went **porla 

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royal fifth and to magnifying their achievements as the basis 
for further favors, but Spilberg got a number of pearls 
from the boat he captured, and it is almost certain that the 
jQagship carried a much greater quantity. At any rate, it 
was admitted by the company that the second voyage had 
prospered well. A rich cargo of pearls was obtained; one of 
them was worth 4500 pesos. The wealth of the Califomias 
in this respect was no longer a part of the ''Northern 

The second noteworthy factor was that of the presence of 
foreign enemies. These deep-voiced foreigners, when not 
called pirates by the Spaniards, were referred to as "Pichi- 
lingues." ^ For something like half a century after Spil- 
berg's arrival in 1616 they were a veritable pest to the 
Spaniards. Little is known of the Pichilingues in the Pacific, 
aside from the meagre accoimts which have thus far ema- 
nated from Spanish sources. There seems to be no definite 
record, for example, of the pirate who took one of Iturbe's 
ships in 1616. Most, if not all, of these enemy sailors were 
probably Dutch. One inevitable result of their activities 
was that the Spanish government should wish to bring 
about an occupation of the Califomias, if only for the greater 
security of the galleon. 

A third result of these voyages, of great importance as 
affecting projects concerning the Califomias during more 
than a century, was a resumption of the belief that the 
Califomias were an island and not a peninsula. When 
Iturb^ got to the head of the gulf in 1615, he at first thought 
indeed that this was a gulf, but on crossing to Baja California 
he beheved he saw a strait, and so reported. One wonders if 
the floods of the Colorado had anything to do with his 
opinion. Accoimts of this voyage were brought to the at- 

* Doubtless from T^echo meaning cially the Dutch, might well seem to 

chest and lengrta meanmg language,OT be speaking from out of their chests; 

tongue. To a Spaniard, whose words at least tms might have seemed a 

are formed more bv the tongue and fitting way to express a certain dis« 

front of the mouth than by the throat, approval of the speech of their ene- 

the guttural-voiced northerners, espe- mies. 

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tention of the authorities in Spain and Mexico, and the idea 
was accepted. A contributing influence, no doubt, were 
the century-old rumors of a great and mysterious island. 
Despite the discoveries of UUoa and Alarc6n in the gulf, 
such reports had persistently appeared.* In consequence it 
was more logical for the government to give its attention 
to sea-approaches to the Calif omias, rather than seek to get 
to Monterey by land. Not imtil 1746 was the island idea 
definitely dispelled. 

The subsequent operations of the Cardona company are 
not yet clearly known, though the memorials of Nicolds de 
Cardona and his protests against infringements on the 
monopoly of pearl-fishing that he claimed reach as late as 
1643. In certain of his memorials of 1634 he referred to the 
services rendered by his company during twenty years, and 
sought not only a renewal of the pearl-fishing monopoly but 
also a right to make settlements in the Califomias. A royal 
decree of the same year ordered that all possible attention 
be given to the propagation of the faith in the Califomias, 
especially where it did not involve the government in any 
expense, through the willingness of private individuals to 
take it upon themselves. Early in the next year another 
royal decree forwarded some of the Cardona memorials to 

'Until recently it was believed on which Zdrate drew; the stories 
that the revival of the island theory Escobar heard did indeed relate to an 
was an offshoot of Ofiate's expedi- island — ^possibly Catalina Island? — 
tion of 1604-1605 from New Mexico five days' journey to the west, but 
to ^e mouth of the Colorado. In a there was no intimation that the Cal- 
memorial of 1620 Father Ascensi6n ifomias were meant. Furthermore, 
said, with reference to the Gulf of Ofiate's party descended the T[k)lorado 
Cahfomia: '' Up to the present time to the gulf , and there is no inkling in 
people have understood that it was the record that they believed it to be 
an mlet or great bay of the sea there, anything other than the gulf. For a 
and not running continuous sea as in translation of Escobar's report see 
fact it is." This was supplemented in Faiher Escobar^s rdaHon of the OfUUe 
1626 by a statement of Zdrate Sal- expedition to Califomias tr. ed. by 
mer6n, the historian of New Mexico, Herbert E. Bolton, in Catholic hie^ 
who in dealing with Ofiate's expedi- toricalretnew, v.V (Washington. April, 
tion had this to sav: [The Indians 1919), No. 1, 19-41. There can be no 
stated] 'Hhat the Gulf of California doubt that Ascensidn was referring 
is not closed, but is an arm of the to the recent Iturbe voyages, and not 
sea." It now appears that there was to Onate. Historians have been con- 
no such statement in the manuscript fused because thev knew little or 
of Father Francisco de Escobar^ up- nothing about Iturbe. 

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Mexico, and urged the viceroy to seek for more information 
about the Califomias. Precisely what happened, however, 
either before this date or after it, has yet to be made known, 
although there are abimdant materials awaiting the investi- 
gator; indeed, the period from 1616 to 1627 is at present 
almost a blank as concerns activities in the Califomias, 
though there are occasional indications that voyages were 
made — possibly in secret, so as to avoid payment of the 
royal duties on peark or else (in the case of imauthorized 
voyages) to keep the matter from coming to the attention of 
the pearl-fisheries monopolists. 

In 1627 Martin de Lezama, a son-in-law of Vizcaino, pro- 
cured a license for a voyage to the Califomias, with pearl- 
fishing rights attached. Lezama went to San Bias to build a 
ship, but it would appear that the mosquitoes of that un- 
healthful port were too much for him, and he gave up the 
enterprise. Meanwhile a certain Captain Antonio Bastdn 
had gone from Mexico to Spain to apply for a hcense to 
make conquests in the Califomias at his own cost. This 
occasioned a royal decree of 1628, directed to the viceroy, 
asking reports about the best way of making fiui;her discov- 
eries in the Califomias and if it were advisable to make them. 
In the course of the years 1629-1632 fifteen memorials were 
accumulated, including three from Ascensi6n, and one 
each from Juan de Iturbe, Martin de Lezama, Esteban 
Carbonel de Valenzuela, and others who are at present less 
well known. With one exception all were in favor of an 
expedition. The only exception was the cosmographer 
Enrique Martinez, who said that the Califomias were of 
no value, except for pearls, and he doubted their wealth in 
that particular. The government favored the prevailing 
view, for a license was granted to Francisco de Ortega. He 
obtained the typical seventeenth century contract, authoriz- 
ing him to make the voyage and giving him permission to 
seek for pearls, in retiun for which he was to bear all the ex- 
pense, and was to procure information about the Califomias, 
besides paying the customary duties on the pearls he should 

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On March 20, 1632/ Ortega set sail for the Calif omias, 
with the pilot Esteban Carbonel as his second in command. 
The lower end of the pemnsula was reached on May 4, and 
the expedition proceeded up the gulf on the western side to 
27®. In July the return voyage was made. Many pearls 
had been found. Carbonel was sent to sea again forthwith, 
for the Pichilingues were along the coast and it was necessary 
to warn the galleon. The galleon was warned, and Carbonel 
returned. In 1633-1634 a more ambitious expedition was 
made, and the founding of a colony was attempted. Sailing 
from New Spain on September 8, 1633, Ortega reached La 
Paz on October 7. A colony was founded there, which 
was temporarily successful. The Indians proved docile, 
and many conversions were made, largely as a result of gifts 
of food, — always one of the most persuasive "spiritual 
arguments" with the natives. In course of time it appears 
that suppUes got low, and it was necessary to abandon the 
colony. Meanwhile many pearls had been found and some 
information acquired about the country. In 1636 Ortega 
made his third voyage to the Califomias, leaving a port in 
Sinaloa on January 11. He and his men were wrecked near 
the southern end of the peninsula, but escaped on a fragment 
of the vessel. Theymade a boat and got to LaPaz, where they 
were well received by the Indians, who wanted them to stay. 
The little party of Spaniards went on to the mainland, how- 
ever, coming to port on May 16. Despite their misfortunes, 
they were able to report that they had found many pearl- beds. 

In the years 1636-1637 Ortega's pilot, Carbonel, became 
the central figiure in a sensational case that aroused interest 
in both Mexico and Spain. An individual named Vergara 
had procured a license for a voyage, but transferred his 
rights to Carbonel. Carbonel had been in New Spain for 
many years, and had long been prominent in connection with 
activities in the Pacific' It developed, however, that he 

* Several months earlier than some bonel 500 pesos if he would go to 

of the memorials growing out of the Tehuantepeo and refit a ship which 

royal decrees of 1628. the former proposed to use for dis- 

^ In a document dated July 9. 1620, coyeries in tne Califomias. 
Nicole de Cardona promisea Car^ 

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was a Frenchman and that he had secretly built a ship on 
the River Santiago (near San Bias). Some of his crew were 
said to be French Canadians, who had reported that a trans- 
continental strait surely existed. It was believed that 
Carbonel planned to seek the strait and sail through it to 
France, opening a way for the French to threaten the 
Spanish possessions in the Pacific. Himdreds of memorials 
or depositions were gathered in the trial of this case, but it is 
not yet possible to tell how it came out. Very likely Car- 
bonel had nothing more in mind, when he built his ship, than 
the making of an unlicensed pearl voyage. The profound 
interest, not to say excitement, which the case caused is one 
of the almost innumerable evidences that Spain could always 
be stirred up by threatened foreign incursions in the Cali- 
f omias, which were recognized as an entering wedge into her 
rich dominions of New Spain. The fact that no great expedi- 
tion followed the Carbonel case may for the present be re- 
garded as some evidence that the French pilot was ac- 
quitted of the principal charge against him.* 

Meanwhile, another individual had gradually been coming 
to the fore. In 1636 Pedro Porter Casanate, in association 
with one Botello, asked for a license to make a voyage to the 
Californias at his own expense, offering also to provide 
accurate charts of that land. The license was given in 1636, 
whereupon Ortega complained that it infringed rights pre- 
viously granted to him. As a result both licenses were 
revoked. Porter had already spent a vast sum of money on 
the enterprise, and betook himself to Spain for redress. His 
case received favorable attention, and at length, in 1640, he 

* The above infonnation is based grace. His partner, Vergara, also got 

on the charges aeainst Carbonel — one a license, and transferred it to a 

document out of the hundreds in the French company. That is all. The 

file. Yet, as an example of the present information provided in the charKCs 

inadequacv of our information about against Carbonel was supplied by the 

this perioa, it is worth pointing out writer to Mr. Rudolph J. Taussig, 

how this clears up and supplants the who used it in his The American in^ 

statement made in Bancroft. Ac- ter-oceanic canal: an historical eketch 

cording to Bancroft, Carbonel got a of the canal idea, in The Pacific ocean 

license in an underhanded way (un- in history (New York. 1917), 114-136, 

specified), and made a voyage in at 123. 
1636, returning to Mexico in dis* 

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procured the desired royal license, which also gave him a 
monopoly of the right to sail the Gulf of California. He was 
detained in Spain on other service, however, and it was not 
until 1643 that he started upon his return. With him went 
a number of families of prospective settlers, while others 
were picked up in Vera Cruz. A boat on the Pacific was 
chartered, and Porter commenced building two others. 
Just then came the familiar news about the Pichilingues; at 
any rate they had made their appearance in Chile, and it was 
expected that they would sail north, with a view to the capture 
of the galleon. Porter's vessel was the only one at hand; so it 
was sent out to give the usual warning. In January 1644, this 
ship, under Alonso Gonzdiez Barriga, put to sea. Eighteen 
days were required before Gonzalez could cover the narrow 
but di£Bicult stretch between the mainland and the peninsula. 
Meanwhile, he had missed the galleon (which, however, got 
safely to Acapulco), but he went on for five days up the 
west coast of Baja California. The storms soon proved to 
be too much for his vessel, and he turned back for New Spain, 
making port in a four-day run. He had seen a number of 
Indians, who had received him with demonstrations of 
friendship, and he had also not neglected the opportunity to 
procure some pearls. 

Shortly afterward, in April 1644, Porter received a set- 
back from which he never recovered. A fire broke out, and 
his ships and warehouses were burned. He had by this time 
wasted a fortime in the enterprise, but the royal government 
came to his assistance. He was placed in command of a 
post in Sinaloa, just across from the Califomias, and the 
viceroy was ordered to help him. The order had to be re- 
peated, however, before the viceroy would take action, and 
it was not imtil 1648 that Porter was ready for another 
voyage. In that year two ships were sent out to explore 
sites for a colony, but they returned without having found 
any that were suitable. They went to sea again to warn the 
galleon, for the Pichilingues were reported in the vicinity. 
In 1660 Porter disappears from the record. A royal order of 
that year required the viceroy to assist him unless there were 

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serious objections, but the authorities wanted an explana- 
tion of Porter's delays, making the observation that his 
license was not unlimited in time. It seems likely that the 
viceroy recommended against any further dealings with 
Porter. One wonders whether the latter had sincerely en- 
deavored to fulfil his contract. For fifteen years he had 
devoted himself to this project, and, so far as the evidence 
goes, had made but two rather unsatisfactory voyages. It 
is at least probable that his ships crossed the gulf on other 
occasions without reporting the fact, thus avoiding the 
obligations imposed in the contract. Graft was a prevalent 
vice in New Spain, and it would have been easier and 
cheaper to bribe royal oflScers than to live up to the terms of 
the license and pay the royal fees. 

After Porter's voyage of 1648, there is (at present) a 
hiatus in the records, imtil Bernardo Bemal de Pynadero 
steps forward in 1664 as the principal figure in California 
exploration. Pynadero had procured the usual type of con- 
tract, with emphasis on the importance of making a settle- 
ment in California. In 1664 he sent out two ships. Com- 
pletely disregarding his contract obligations, Pjoiadero con- 
fined his efforts to a search for pearls, and procured a rich 
cargo. Precise information of this voyage got out, for the 
Spaniards quarreled over the division of the spoil. Further- 
more, Pjmadero had treated the natives cruelly, compelling 
them to serve as divers, whereby many of them were ''drowned 
for lack of breath," and of course he had made no settlement. 
The viceroy authorized him to make another voyage, but 
the Andiencia of Guadalajara temporarily prevented him 
from doing so. Pynadero was therefore delayed imtil 1667, 
when he seems to have sent out two ships. Nothing definite 
is yet known of this voyage, and it may have been the same 
as a reputed two ship voyage of 1668 under the command of 
one Lucenilla. Lucenilla stated that the Califomias were 
barren, and returned without making a settlement. It was 
asserted that his real object was to find pearls. 

Pynadero continued to have rights of discovery, or to 
seek them, until 1678. In 1672 the Council of the Indies 

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ordered the viceroy to investigate and report fully on one of 
his petitions, insisting that the project of settling the 
Calif omias should be carried out; if Pynadero was not the 
proper person, then another was to be found, or if necessary 
it was to be undertaken at royal expense. This shows that 
the government was beginning to realize that conquest and 
settlement by private initiative could no longer be counted 
upon. The day of the conquistador, or adelantado, was gone, 
and henceforth it was the state which would have to pay the 
bills. A considerable file of papers accumulated growing 
out of the order of 1672. The authorities in New Spain 
decided against Pynadero on various grounds, including 
that of his past irregularities, but the Council of the Indies 
in 1674, sustained him. The decree added that the viceroy 
should regard discoveries in the Californias as important, 
even if they offered no advantages other than as a field for 
spiritual conquest, — doubtless with the strategic importance 
of the peninsula in mind. Whether Pynadero made another 
voyage, however, is at present unknown. 

Discoveries and settlements in the Californias on private 
initiative had failed. The contracts had been mere shields, 
behind which individuals engaged, whether openly or 
secretly, in the pearl-fisheries, without making serious efforts 
to achieve what was uppermost in the royal mind. Con- 
vinced of this fact, the government (which all along had 
desired the occupation as a defensive measure) resolved to 
provide the funds itself. A new type of contract was drawn 
up, therefore, in 1678, and approved in 1679, whereby Isidro 
Atondo y Antill6n was to found a colony and the government 
was to bear most of the expense. It was not until 1683 that 
everything was ready. The expedition was to consist of 
three ships and about a hundred men, including three Jesuits. 
One of the Jesuits was Eusebio Francisco Kino, whose life- 
long interest in the Californias was aroused as a result of 
this expedition. Starting in January 1683 Atondo spent 
two months without being able to cross the gulf to the 
peninsula. Making a fresh attempt he got over in four days, 
and reached La Paz on the 1st of April. The natives were 

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not as well-disposed as in other years; the selfishness and 
cruelty of the pearl-fishers had alienated them. At length 
some of them were won over through liberal gifts of food, 
though certain tribes, notably the Guaicuri, remained 
hostile, and it proved necessary to kill a number of them in 
battle. But the experience of Cort^, Vizcaino, and Ortega 
was soon repeated. Supplies got scarce, and on July 14 La 
Paz was abandoned. The expedition returned to Sinaloa. 

Atondo was soon back in the peninsula, however. In 
October 1683 he founded another colony at a site which he 
named San Bruno, about fifty miles north of La Paz, on the 
Bay of San Juan. The attempt was indeed an earnest one. 
No such careful preparations to ensure permanence had ever 
been made, at least not since the time of Cort6s, and the 
greatest success thus far experienced was attained. Not only 
were there settlers and a stock of provisions, but also certain 
other elements without which a colony that would endure 
was impossible. Atondo had brought over some domestic 
animals (goats, horses, and mules), and a beginning was 
made in the cultivation of the soil. The natives were 
friendly, and the religious proceeded to ply them with 
Christian doctrine to the accompaniment of pozole (por- 
ridge). A mission was established, to which the Indians 
submitted. Occasionally they would desert, following 
punishments inflicted upcn srnie of their number, but, as 
Bancroft puts it, they ah ays returned to "prayers and 
pozole." Typical of frontier settlements, too, were the 
quarrels of the Jesuits and Atondo over their relative 

For two years the little colony held up its head. During 
this time Atondo made explorations into the interior, and 
foimd the land rough and sterile. He reported that there 
were no mines, the water was poor, the climate unhealthf ul, 
and the natives wretched though peaceful. Once he sent a 
ship north to look for a better site, while he himself took 
another vessel and went to look for pearls, but neither 
voyage was a success. The matter was now put before the 
viceroy whether the colony should not be abandoned. He 

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replied that the San Bruno settlement should be retained, if 
possible, until a better site was found. Provisions failed, 
however, and late in 1685 the whole force crossed over to 
Sinaloa. A f amiUar turn was given to this unfortunate end- 
ing of the expedition when news came that the Pichilingues 
were once more threatening. Atondo went to sea and warned 
the galleon, returning to Acapulco in December 1685. 

The government had expended 225,400 pesos on the 
Atondo expedition, which was looked upon in that day as an 
enormous sum, especially in view of the depleted state of the 
royal treasury. It was resolved to go ahead with the project, 
however. At about this time* Lucenilla asked for a right to 
renew the attempt which he had made nearly twenty years 
before, but the government supported Atondo, who wished 
to try it again. An order for the payment of 30,000 pesos to 
Atondo was given, but an Indian revolt in Nueva Vizcaya 
caused a diversion of the funds, and Atondo did not get 
another opportunity. The closing years of the century were 
not a propitious time for further governmental expenditures. 
Spain in Europe was then engaged in a life and death 
struggle with the powerful Louis XIV of France, and could 
not afford such an expensive luxury as an attempt to settle 
the Califomias. It was perhaps on this account that she 
consented to one more experiment of the now discredited 
private initiative method of occupation. In 1694 a certain 
Francisco de Itamarra, a former companion of Atondo, 
made a voyage at his own expense, and paid a visit to San 
Bruno. The natives ''had not forgotten the taste of pozole, 
and were clamorous for conversion." It can hardly have 
occasioned surprise that Itamarra accomplished nothing, 
for it was now recognized that the foimdisyg of settlements 
would require such a heavy and financially unprofitable 
outlay that it would inevitably be a state undertaking, 
unless some hitherto imtried method should be employed. 
Meanwhile, it is probable that, as indeed throughout the sev* 
enteenth century, the unrecorded (or at least as yet un- 
known) voyages of unlicensed pearl-fishers went on. Private 

• In 1685 or 1686. probably the latter. 

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gain and an effective conquest of the Calif ornias were, in the 
face of the extraordinary difficulties, altogether incompat- 

" The activities of Spain with re- 
spect to the Califomias in the sev- 
enteenth century oudit to be made 
the subject of a niunber of doctoral 
theses, for unpublished materials in 
gresA qvMatity are available and the 
tneme IS worthy of treatment. Among 
the more obvious topics are the 
Iturbe, Ortega. Porter, and Pyna- 
dero voyages, tne Carbonel case, and 
the Atonoo expedition, to sav noth- 
ing of Pichilin^es, umicensea pearl- 
fishers, and mstitutional subjects. 
The writer's Catalogue^ though it does 
not pretend to be exhaustive for the 
seventeenth century, contains indi- 
cations, nevertheless, of an enormous 
?uantity of hitherto unused materials. 
Particularly is this true of the great 
bound files of papers known as testis 
mamoBf which are so closely written 
that each of their pages is at least 
the eouivalent of an average-sised 
pageW print. The file of papers men- 
tioned in this chapter, heiuied by ths 

decree of 1628 and containing fifteen 
memorials, is one such tesUnumio. 
This, however, though it is 167 pa^ 
long, is one of the smaller ieatimomas. 
Among the others are the following: 
1617, about the operations of ihe 
Cardona company, 61 pages: 1633 
and 1636. concerning Ort^^s dis- 
coveries, 271 and 310 pages respect- 
ively; 1636 and 1637, three testis 
monios about the Carbonel case of 
400, 754, and 735 paces; 1665, 1666, 
and 1674-1676, with reference to 
Fynadero. of 13, 20, and 70 pages. 
In other teaajos of the Archivo Gen- 
eral de Inojias there are vast quanti- 
ties of materials on Atondo, though 
not indicated in the Catalogue. In 
addition there are a number of sepa- 
rate memorials and royal decrees 
manifesting the Spanish interest in 
the Califomias in the seventeenth 
century, many of which are listed in 
the €ataiogu€* 

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The occupation of either of the Califomias by the sea 
route, rather than by following the line of overland progress 
to the junction of the Gila and Colorado rivers (thence 
branching out southward to the peninsula and north-west- 
ward to Monterey), represented a departure from the normal 
course, necessitating extraordinary efforts for a successful 
achievement. Yet both regions were settled and main- 
tained as an overseas ventiue, and one of them, Baja Cali- 
fornia, served in some degree as a preliminary base for the 
acquisition of the other. Credit for the occupation of Baja 
California belongs jointly to the Jesuits and the Spanish 
government, which cooperated to bring lit about and espe- 
cially to maintain the initial gains made at their own expense 
by the Jesuits. The Jesuits, however, are entitled to princi- 
pal recognition as the active agents of the crown who 
succeeded in an enterprise which for nearly two centuries 
had had an almost unbroken record of failiu^. 

The disappointment of the government over the outcome 
of the Atondo colony in 1686 disposed it for the moment 
against incurring further expense in the Califomias, but it 
was almost immediately reminded of the desirability of 
Spanish occupation by the appearance of Pichilingues. In 
this case the "deep-voiced" foreigners were English free- 
booters imder Swan and Townley, who came up the coast in 
1685-1686 in search of the Manila galleon. Swan tried to 
reach Cape San Lucas, but failed on accoimt of the age-long 
difficulty of the contrary winds. He therefore turned about, 
and made for the East Indies. The galleon was not taken, but 
the government was again roused to action. It was believed, 


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however, that a new method of conquest should be tried, and 
therefore in 1686 an offer of 40,000 pesos a year was made to 
the Jesuits to undertake it; since the conversion of the 
Indians, rather than wealth in pearls or the development of 
rich lands, was their primary aim, it was hoped that they 
might succeed where others had not been able to do so. The 
royal government might indeed have commanded the Jesuits 
to do this work, but in the nature of things it was essen- 
tial to have their free consent. Thus, when the Jesuits 
declined, on grounds of the wretchedness of the land and 
the small number of Indians, the government did not press 
the matter. The suggestion was soon to bear fruit, however. 
It was after the Jesuit refusal that the government made the 
already mentioned plan to finance Atondo again, a project 
which came to naught. 

The revival of the idea of a Jesuit conquest was due to two 
religious of that order. Fathers Eusebio Francisco Kino and 
Juan Maria Salvatierra. As a member of the Atondo expedi- 
tion Father Kino had developed an enthusiasm for Jesuit 
penetration into the Califomias which became one of the 
abiding aims of his life. Upon his return from the San Bruno 
colony he had been sent to Sonora, where in 1687 he had 
crossed the Altar River to found a mission at Dolores in 
Pimerfa Alta. It was there that he met Salvatierra, who had 
been sent out by the Jesuit order as visitador, or inspector, 
of the missions in that region. Kino imbued Salvatierra with 
his own enthusiasin, and the latter put himself at the head of 
a movement for a Jesuit occupation of Baja California, The 
time was unusually unpropitious, for Spain was then pros- 
trate before France in a great war which was not yet finished 
but was virtually decided. Not only the government but also 
the higher Jesuit officials opposed the plan, but in 1696 help 
came from the fountain-head of Jesuit power. In that year 
Father Santaella, general of the order, was in Mexico City. 
He favored the project. It was therefore not hard to procure 
a license from the government, which had so long desired 
the achievement of this very aim, but the proviso was at- 
tached to its consent that the Jesuits must find the funds. 

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Early in 1697 Salvatierra was empowered to raise them, if 
he could, by private subscription. Salvatierra was assisted 
in his project by Father Juan de Ugarte, a member of the 
Jesuit college of Mexico City, and it was this individual who 
now began his important services on behalf of the Calif omias 
by suggesting the establishment of the Pious Fund of the 
Califomias. This institution (described hereafter in this 
chapter) provided for the collection of funds from pious 
individuals and for their employment in the founding and 
maintenance of missions. The royal license to the Jesuits, 
dated February 6, 1697, called for the occupation of the 
Califomias by the Jesuits at their own expense (assisted by 
the Pious Fund). The most striking feature of the contract 
was the provision that the entire enterprise was to be under 
Jesuit control; not only were they to have charge of spiritual 
interests, but they were also to hire and command the sol- 
diers and such other officials or helpers as they might need. 
This was something new in California history, though it had 
been tried elsewhere in Spanish dominions, notably in Para- 
guay, with success. The one check on Jesuit authority was 
the requirement that the conquest should be made in the 
name of the king and subject to the orders of the viceroy or 
other higher representatives of the crown. 

Salvatierra met with many discouragements in getting 
his expedition imder way. He found that insufficient pro- 
visions had been supplied. Then Fathers Kino and Piccolo, 
whom he had intended to take with him, did not appear at 
the rendezvous; Kino was detained permanently in Pimerla 
Alta, but Piccolo eventually joined Salvatierra, though not 
until after the latter had reached Baja California. Though 
aflFairs were not in such a state as he could have wished, 
Salvatierra resolved to go anyway; so he gathered together 
his "army" of six men and started. The voyage was made 
in two small craft, which endeavored to cross from the 
Sinaloa coast to the peninsula. Salvatierra^s boat got across 
the gulf in a single day, sailing on October 10, 1697, and 
arriving on the 11th. The other boat was caught in a storm. 

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and did not reach its destination until November 15, over 
a month later. 

On October 18, after a week's search, Salvatierra picked 
out a site about a third of the way up the peninsula which 
Captain Romero said he had visited two years before — on 
a voyage of which otherwise there is no record, unless 
Romero was in fact referring to the Itamarra voyage of 
1694. At this place, to which the name Loreto was given, 
was now established the first permanent European settle- 
ment of the Califomias. A fort was constructed, with the 
provisions as bulwarks, and a tiny swivel-gun was moimted. 
There were many natives in the vicinity, and they helped 
in the work of preparing the camp, receiving gifts of porridge 
and maize. Salvatierra was a very busy man in the early 
days of the colony. He was priest, oflScer, sentry, governor 
of the province, and cook for the army rolled into one. Yet 
he foimd time to study the native tongue and to conduct 
religious services from the first. The Indians were invited to 
attend, and were given an extra allotment of porridge when 
they did. Trouble soon developed, however, on the part of 
the imconverted. They wanted as much porridge as the con- 
verts received, and furthermore began to steal things about 
the camp. Their dissatisfaction at length reached such pro- 
portions that on the 1st of November they issued demands 
for porridge. For several days the Spaniards thought it best 
to accede to them, as the second ship had not arrived, and 
their forces were hopelessly insufficient. Meanwhile they 
became exhausted with watching, for it was evident that the 
Indians, emboldened by their success, planned to rush the 
camp. At last, on November 12, the attack came. The 
Spaniards felt that it was time to use the swivel-gun. They 
did so, and one famous shot was fired, — ^but the result was 
very diflFerent from what they could have hoped. The gun 
burst and killed two Spaniards, while the Indians received 
no harm. Seeing what had taken place the Indians charged. 
All seemed over now, but the Spaniards prepared to sell their 
lives dearly. They fired their muskets point-blank at the 
Indians, several of whom were killed. Thereupon, a new light 

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dawned upon the Indians, and they came to a sudden, 
unanimous, and simultaneous decision to run the other way. 
The battle was over. The next day the Indians sued for 
peace. Two days later, on the 15th, the second boat (the 
one which had left Sinaloa at the same time as Salvatierra's) 
reached Loreto, and on the 23d the first boat (which had 
been sent back to New Spain) came in, bringing Father 
Piccolo. Success now seemed likely. All the Indians aj)- 
peared to want conversion, and manifestly desired porridge, 
but Salvatierra insisted upon more instruction and greater 
proofs of their sincerity. The conquerors were now eighteen 
in number, — ^two religious, seven soldiers, five sailors, and 
four Christian Indians from the mainland, — a force that was 
large enough to cope with the Indians of the neighborhood, 
ntimerous as they were. 

Salvatierra's rectorship, or presidency, of the Baja Cali- 
fornia missions (carrying with it the government of the 
province) lasted until his death, in 1717. The events of these 
twenty years are typical of frontier life and are representa- 
tive also of the course of affairs in the later period of Jesuit 
rule. The first five years were a particularly crucial period, 
for the entire weight of responsibility fell upon Salvatierra 
and his co-workers, without more aid from the king than the 
royal good will. The Pious Fund did especially effective 
service in these years, with the result that the number of 
soldiers was increased, supplies made adequate and regular 
in shipment, and more buildings erected. In 1699 the mission 
of San Javier was founded, south of Loreto at a f ertUe site, 
and Father Piccolo went there as missionary. In the early 
years the Indians were occasionally hostile, being stirred to 
resistance by their native priests, or medicine-men, whose 
profession was of course frowned upon by the Jesuits. But 
the fiery Captain Tortolero proved himself to be a Califor- 
nian Miles Standish, and was able to keep the Indians in 
hand. They displayed no enthusiasm for conversion, how- 
ever; on Palm Sunday of 1698 Salvatierra planned to repre- 
sent a dinner of the twelve apostles, with Indians filling the 
r61e of the apostles, but only two Indians put in an appear- 

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ance. There were also the inevitable quarrels of religious and 
military, especially between Salvatierra and Tortolero's 
successor, Mendoza, though in this case the Jesuits clearly 
had authority. Mendoza wanted to employ more summary 
methods against the Indians and also to use the soldiers in 
fishing for pearls. Despite the risk involved, Salvatierra did 
not hesitate to settle the matter by discharging eighteen of 
his thirty soldiers. 

The most serious difficulty arose over the inadequacy 
of the Pious Fund for the needs of the colony, and further- 
more the amount of gifts to the f imd fell away, due to the 
inimical reports of the disappointed soldiery and the pearl- 
fishers. It is to be noticed that obscure seekers of pearls were 
a constant factor in the history of the province. The Jesuits 
complained against them, because they forced the Indians to 
dive for pearls, and consequently the religious would not sell 
them provisions. 

The government, however, encouraged the pearl-fishers, 
and by a decree of 1703 waived the old idea of the monopoly ; 
the effective occupation of the Califomias, by whatever 
means it might be brought about, was what the government 
wanted. When it became evident that the Jesuits could not 
sustain themselves without royal aid, the king and his 
councillors came to the rescue. Philip V himseK attended a 
session of the Council of the Indies in 1702 at which it was 
decided to grant asubsidy of 6000 pesos a year and two addi- 
tional missionaries (naturally, at royal expense). Shortly 
afterward an additional 7000 pesos, thirty soldiers, and re- 
ligious paraphernalia were added by the king, and in later 
years the annual royal subsidy reached as high as 30,000 
pesos, thus providing for the soldiers, sailors, and mission- 
aries. T^th this aid the Pious Fund was able to furnish the 
rest. It is to be noted that there was almost no financial 
return on the royal investment and that expensive wars in 
Europe were all along taxing the treasury to its uttermost. 
Yet the Spanish government, though occasionally behind 
hand in its payments, made what was, for the times, a gen- 
erous allowance to maintain and extend the oonqueste in the 

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Califomias, primarily because of their strategic importance 
with reference to the rich kingdom of New Spain. 

Another important factor of a permanent variety was the 
difficulty of commmiications with the mainland. Many in- 
stances of delays and wreck occasioned by the storms of the 
Gulf of California have already been noted. In Salvatierra's 
time about one ship a year was lost by wreck. Salvatierra 
became convinced that it would be much better to develop 
a supply-route byway of Sonora, and in 1701 visited Kino 
in Pimerfa Alta to discuss the matter. As a result, plans 
were made for joint expeditions from Sonora and Baja Cali- 
fornia to see whether there were a practicable trail. It was 
impossible to do this by boat, as the number of wrecks left 
the Jesuits with an insufficient fleet of vessels and the con- 
trary winds were too difficult a factor to overcome readily. 
Explorations were made by land, to the end of Jesuit rule, 
but never quite reached the Colorado from the side of Baja 
California or the settled part of the peninsula from the side 
of Sonora. It is important, however, that the need for such a 
route was recognized; Baja California was in fact at the 
extremity of an overland advance, occupied as result of 
special circmnstances before the intervening spaces. 

The greatest of the Baja California Jesuits, undoubtedly, 
was Father Salvatierra, but second only to him stood Father 
Juan de Ugarte. It was Ugarte who organized the work of 
the Pious Fund, but he was not content with the task of ad- 
ministering that institution; he wanted to be an active toiler 
in the field. So in 1701 he came to Loreto. Father Piccolo 
had just been driven away from San Javier by the Indians, 
but Ugarte went there to restore the mission. Moreover, re- 
lying upon his great strength, for he was a giant in stature, 
he sent back the soldiers who had gone there with him. He 
reestablished the mission, and as the site was fertile put the 
Indians to work at agriciiltiu^. The experiment, which had 
not prev'ously been tried, was a success, and in course of 
time San Javier was able to produce a surplus for use at the 
other missions. Ugarte was a man who radiated enthusiasm, 
and he ww able to succeed where others would have failed. 

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Patient as a rule, he could also exhibit a picturesque wrath. 
On one occasion he took an Indian by the hair and swung 
him around his head, and on another seized by the hair two 
Indians who were fighting and dashed them to the ground. 
His boimtiful courage was particularly useful in 1701, the 
year of his arrival. Provisions got so low that even Salva- 
tierra was ready to abandon the province. Ugarte opposed, 
and said that he would stay, whatever the others might do. 
All stayed therefore. Very soon they were reduced to eating 
roots, but a ship came in time to save them. 

Naturally, upon the death of Salvatierra, Ugarte was ap- 
pointed to succeed him, and he ruled until 1730, when he 
died at the age of seventy years. His term of oflSce was one 
of great munificence to the Pious Fund, with the result that 
more missions were founded and the establishments generally 
placed on a secure basis. Ugarte resolved to solve the riddle 
of the gulf, if gulf it were. First it was necessary to build a 
ship, for those which plied between the mainland and Loreto 
had proved imequal to the northward voyage. Scouring the 
land he foimd a grove of timber in an almost inaccessible 
ravine. The builder said that it was not suitable for a ship, 
but Ugarte cut it anyway, and hauled it for a hundred miles 
over mountain ranges to a mission on the coast. The ship 
was built, and named appropriately the Triunfo de la Cruz 
(Triumph of the Cross). In this boat the venerable rector, 
then sixty-one years of age, made a voyage up the gulf, in 
1721, taking an Englishman, a certain William Strafford 
(called Guillermo Estrafort in the Spanish), as pilot. Ugarte 
proved that the sheet of water upon which he sailed was a 
gulf. Yet, so persistent were the old ideas, that the voyage 
had to be repeated by Father Consag in 1746. Then, at 
length, the legend of California's insularity was overthrown 

A serious Indian revolt broke out in 1734. The Indians 
of the Cape San Lucas region had always been imruly, and 
particularly objected to the Jesuit efforts to deprive them 
of their institution of polygamy. There were only three 
Jesuits and six soldiers in the south when the rebellion began. 

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and two of the former and four of the latter, together with 
many Indian converts, were killed. In 1735, when a boat 
from the Manila galleon put in at Cape San Lucas, thirteen 
Spaniards were massacred. The news of these events spread 
through the peninsula, and the Indians of the north seemed 
on the point of rising, wherefore all the missions, save that of 
Loreto, were temporarily abandoned in 1735. Sixty hard- 
fighting Yaqui Indians were brought over from Sonora, and 
they saved the situation for a time. Later in the year Gov- 
ernor Huydobro of Sonora came to the peninsula, and 
decisively defeated the Indians of the south. As a result the 
revolt in the north died before it had fau*Iy broken out, and 
that of the south lost force, though the Indians of that 
quarter continued to drive off cattle and to commit other 
depredations for some ten years more. Abandonment of the 
province had been averted, however. 

In 1768 the Jesuits were deprived of their position in the 
peninsula. Before relating how this came about, it is well 
at this point to summarize their achievements in Baja Cali- 
fomia. As a recent work, puts it: 

"During their seventy years' sojourn in Lower [or Baja] Cali- 
fornia, the Jesuits had charted the east coast aod explored the east 
and west coasts of the Peninsula and the islands adjacent thereto; 
they had explored the interior to the thirty-first p>arallel of north 
latitude^ in a manner that has never been excelled; they had 
brought about the institution of the Pious Fund; they had 
founded twenty-three — ^including the chapel of Jesus del Monte — 
mission establishments, of which fourteen had proven successful;* 
they had erected structures of stone and beautified them; they had 
formulated a system of mission life never thereafter surpassed; 
they had not only instructed the Indians in religious matters, 
but had taught them many of the useful arts; they had made a 
network of open trails, connecting the missions with each other 
and with Loreto; they had taken scientific and geographical 
notes concerning the country and prepared ethnological reports 
on the native races; they had cultivated and planted the arable 
lands and inaugurated a system of irrigation . . . Considering 
the abundance of level land, the water and tens of thousands of 

' About a hundred miles south of * Two of the fourteen were aban- 
the present international boundary. doned by the successors of the 


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Indians about them, the establishment by the Franciscans [at a 
later time] of twenty-one missions in Upper [or Alta] California 
dming the fifty-four years preceding the passage of the Seculari- 
zation Act, is no circumstance to the peninsular work of the 
Jesuits. Finally, the Jesuits of California were men of high educa- 
tion, many of them of gentle birth; of their labors in the Penin- 
sula, it has been said with truth that 'remote as was the land and 
small the nation, there are few chapters in the history of the world 
on which the mind can turn with so sincere an admiration/ '' < 

Aside from the mission-presidio at Loreto and the other 
missions there were few settlements in Baja California where 
Spaniards lived. The Jesuits always resisted the entry of 
any whites other than themselves and their mission guards ; 
they even opposed, with success, several royal projects for 
the founding of presidios on the west coast. Their idea, here 
as in Paraguay, was that the conversion and civilization of 
the native was the prime reason for their preseice and that 
these aims would best be attained if the selfish interests of 
white settlers were not allowed to complicate the situation. 
There was a sprinkling of miners, however, in the south, and, 
as already noted, the pearl-fishers continued to visit the 
coasts. It remains to deal in somewhat more detail with the 
Pious Fund. 

The Pious Fund of the Calif omias, founded by Salvatierra 
and Ugarte in 1697, came to be, eventually, one of the prin- 
cipal supports of the missions of both Baja and Alta Cal- 
ifornia. The royal treasury never provided enough for the 
needs of the missions, which could not have been sustained 
without a much larger governmental grant if it had not been 
for the assistance of the Pious Fund; for the first few years, 
indeed, the Pious Fund was the sole reliance of the Jesuits. 
At the outset the method of handling was for the donors to 
pay over the interest merely, on sums that they had given 
but retained in their possession. Thus, a grant of 10,000 
pesos f which was usually regarded as the capital required for 
the support of one mission, entailed payment of 500 pesos 
a year as interest to the Jesuit administrator in Mexico City. 

* North, Arthur Walbridge, The mother of Calif omia (San Franciaco and 
New York. [1908]), 44-45. 

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One donor went bankrupt, however, and from the year 1716 
the funds were paid over in entirety and reinvested, usually 
in ranches. The greatest benefactor was the Marques de 
Villapuente. In addition to providing sums for the founding 
of a number of missions, he gave several hundred thousand 
acres of land in Tamaulipas, with all the flocks and buildings 
upon them. A certain Josefa Paula de Argiielles gave nearly 
200,000 pesoa^ and a member of the great Borja (or Borgia) 
family, Marfa de Borja, Duquesa de Gandia, gave 62,000. 
The fund reached a total of from 600,000 to 1,000,000 pesos, 
and produced at a rate of about 5 per cent. A Jesuit pro- 
curator managed the estates, and bought and shipped goods 
to the missionaries in the peninsula. 

After the expulsion of the Jesuits had been decided upon 
in 1767, the Pious Fund was taken over by the government, 
but was managed as a separate financial institution, with a 
view to carrying out the objects of the original donors. It 
was henceforth applied to both Califomias. Occasionally, 
too, fimds were devoted to other than purely religious ob- 
jects, as in the case of the expeditions of 1769 and 1775-1776 
to Alta California, both of which were provided for, in part, 
out of the Pious Fund. In 1836 the Mexican government, 
which had succeeded Spain in exercise of sovereignty over 
the Califomias, passed a law that the f imd should be applied 
toward the expenses of a bishopric of the Califomias, which, 
with papal assent, it was proposed to establish. Thus the 
religious were deprived of any further utilization of the fund. 
In 1842 the Mexican government reassmned control, but 
announced that it would employ the proceeds to promote the 
civilization and conversion of the savages. Later in the 
same year the separate estates of the Pious Fund were sold, 
and the moneys obtained were incorporated in the Mexican 
treasury, but the government made formal acknowledgment 
of an indebtedness for religious objects in the Califomias 
to the extent of 6 per cent a year on the amoimt it had re- 

When the United States took over Alta California in 
1848, Mexico ceased to make further payments on behalf of 

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that territory, and for many years they lapsed. In 1868 a 
commission met to adjust claims between the United States 
and Mexico, and while it was still in session the Catholic 
authorities of California put in a claim, in 1870, for a portion 
of the income of the Pious Fund, — so much as would nor- 
mally have been Alta California's share. The United States 
entered the claim, but as no agreement with Mexico could 
be reached the matter was submitted to an umpire in the 
person of Sir Edward Thornton. This gentleman rendered 
a decision in 1875 calling for payment by Mexico of 6 per 
cent annually on one-half the value of the fimd, on the theory 
that Alta and Baja Califomia were equally entitled. His 
decision covered the twenty-one year period from 1848 to 
1869, and required payment by Mexico of $904,070.99, or 
$43,050.99 a year. Mexico paid, but annoimced that any 
future claim for arrears would be inadmissible, a contention 
with which the United States did not agree. In 1891 the 
United States put in a claim for the arrears since 1869, but 
Mexico declined to honor the claim. In 1902, however, the 
two countries consented to a submission of the case to the 
arbitral tribunal at the Hague, — ^the first case ever acted 
upon by that body. The court gave a unanimous decision 
that Mexico should pay the accrued interest, which by that 
time amounted to $1,420,682.67, and also that Mexico 
should forever pay over the sum of $43,050.99 each year on 
the 2d of February. The money is payable to the United 
States, which of course recognizes its obligation to give the 
full amount to the Catholic Church in Califomia. Mexico 
has again fallen in arrears, and the matter of the Pious Fund 
has taken its place as one of the perennial impaid claims of 
this coimtry against Mexico. As for the share due Baja 
Califomia, Mexico has long since ceased to make payments. 
Thus strangely does the course of history take its way. Who 
could have foreseen such a varied career for that heritage 
from the missionary zeal of Salvatierra and Ugarte, the 
Pious Fund of the CalifomiasI 

In 1767 the Spanish government issued a decree expelling 
the Jesuits from all of their dominions. The causes for this 

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action had scarcely anything to do with Jesuit activities in 
Baja California, though there as elsewhere charges were 
filed against them. It was merely part of a world-wide move- 
ment in Catholic countries against the Jesuits, growing 
largely out of a fear that the Jesuits were planning a great 
revolution against the absolute monarchs of Europe. Portu- 
gal and France had already expelled the Jesuits, and Naples 
followed the lead of these coimtries and Spain in 1767; in- 
deed the pope was induced to suppress the Jesuit order 
in 1773, though it was later restored. It is therefore futile 
to go into the question of the justice of this decision as 
affecting the Jesuits of Baja California, as the complaints of 
their detractors, which were in great part false or very 
greatly exaggerated, had no real bearing on the case. In 
Baja California, as in all other Spanish domains, great 
secrecy was observed in carrying out the decree, and no hint 
of what was coming was given. In September 1767 Captain 
Caspar de Portold (a native of Catalonia) arrived in the 
province with a commission as governor. He called the 
Jesuits together, and on February 3, 1768, they were sent 
out of the peninsula. The Indians, it seems, made great 
manifestations of grief, — and well they might, for their 
future in other hands was to be less happy than it had been 
imder Salvatierra and his successors. 

The Franciscans of the College of San Fernando,^ Mexico 
City, had been offered the Califomia field in June 1767, 
and had accepted, but it was not until April 1768 that their 
first missionaries actually arrived in the peninsula. Mean- 
while, the missions had been turned over to military com- 
missioners, who gave very little thought to the Indians and 
very much to a search for the vast treasure that the Jesuits 
were reputed to have accumulated. As a result the missions 

^ Hie CoUege of San Fernando was home for migsionarieB without em- 
nota "college "as that word is ordin- pdoyment or for those who had re- 
arily understood in this country. It tired from actual service. The Col- 
was one of several Franciscan insti- lege oi San Fernando, which was 
tutions, such as the colleges of Qu»^ destined to supply all the missiona- 
taro, Jalisco, and Zacatecas, which lies of Alta Cuifomia in the Spanish 
served primarily as an administrative era and most of those in the Mexican, 
centre for missionavy work and as a was founded in 1734, 

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were nearly ruined, and the Indians were left in sad straits, 
while little or no treasiire was found. At the head of the 
Franciscans who arrived in the spring of 1768 was Junlpero 
Serra, the appointee of the college as president of the mis- 
sions, then in his fifty-fifth year. The conditions under which 
he took up his presidency were very different from those of 
the Jesuit era. Not only was the government of the province 
forever removed from mission control, but also the tem- 
poraUties of the missions, — ^that is, the flocks, crops, and 
economic resources in general, — were left in the hands of 
the military commissioners. Only the church properties and 
spiritual authority were to be in charge of the Franciscans. 
The military men had proved to be self-seeking or else in- 
competent, so that the missions seemed doomed to fail. Not 
having food or clothing to give the Indians, the missionaries 
could not attract the imconverted or even hold the former 
prot^^ of the Jesuits. Later in 1768 Jos6 de Gdlvez, 
visitador (or royal inspector) of all New Spain, arrived in the 
peninsula, and one of his first reforms was to give back the 
temporalities to missionary control. With this, the new 
regime in the Califomias, that of the typical frontier prov- 
ince, may fairly be said to have been installed. 

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TO THB CALIF0RNIA8, 1687-1765 

The establishment of the Jesuit missions in Baja Califor- 
nia was in conformity with govenmient projects, but was 
far from being as thorough-going and extensive a settlement 
as the authorities could have wished. The basis of their 
desires, the strategic importance of the Califomias with 
reference to New Spain, has already been alluded to several 
times, but, in the face of the difficulties in the way of occupy- 
ing the land, the impelling causes and the motive agencies 
of conquest had to be very strong in order to achieve the 
wished-for result. It is well at this point to get these factors 
clearly in mind before proceeding with the detail as to gov- 
ernmental plans and activities. 

The mere lust, or vain-glory, of conquest in itself, without 
the inducement of profits, had never appealed to the Span- 
iards in the Americas. Conquests involved expenditures, 
and the government had no funds for expeditions that 
promised no clearly recognizable advantage. The "Northern 
Mystery'' still lived in the eighteenth century in the minds 
of many individuals, — at least in its milder forms of wealth 
in precious metals, kingdoms of Quivira, and straits of 
Anidn, though fountains of youth and Amazon islands were 
no longer xu'ged seriously, — ^but the government was utterly 
unmoved by these tales, or at any rate declined to open the 
royal purse in order to investigate them. A definite discovery 
of wealth in precious metals might indeed cause it to assume 
the expense of a conquest, but the evidences of discovery 
had to be convincing before it would start. Mere wealth in 
natural resources, of the kind that would require time and 


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capital to develop, did not interest the state; precious metal 
would yield immediate returns, through the exaction of the 
royal fifth or through the sale of quicksilver (which was a 
royal monopoly) for extracting the gold or silver from the 
ores, but Spain had other uses for her long-term capital 
than its employment in a distant frontier province of the 
empire. There was one perennial cause for conquest: the 
fear lest some other European power might occupy lands 
that would threaten those already possessed by Spain, — 
the element of foreign danger, which had made its appear- 
ance as a factor in Spanish imperial councils when Drake's 
visit to the Pacific coast had inaugurated the era of the 
"aggressive defensive" in California affairs. In this matter 
Spain was unceasingly distrustful, and her fear was constant. 
Indeed, scepticism was thrown to the winds where foreign 
aggressions were concerned, and mere unauthenticated re- 
ports were sufficient to produce expensive efforts from which 
no financial profit was expected to be derived. Hardly a 
year passed without some governmental project on this ac- 
count, but the advances between 1687 and 1769 (except for 
Jesuit activities in Baja California) were more in the way of 
improving the eventual line of communications than in 
taking over new territories. All of this was essential work; 
if the details are not dwelt upon here, it is not because the 
founding of a presidio or the suppression of an Indian war 
in Sonora was a matter of no importance. What might have 
happened if incontrovertible evidences of foreign aggression 
in the Califomias had been received is a question, but no 
such proofs were obtained in this period. Suspicion there 
was, always. Down to 1761 it was directed primarily against 
the French, but the English were at all times suspected, and 
the fear of Russian encroachments began to be a factor from 
about the middle of the eighteenth centiuy. 

In any event the government had to have fit instruments 
to carry out its policies of defensive conquest. The relative 
importance of the military, the religious, and the civilian 
settler as agencies of conquest has already been discussed, 
but it should be emphasized that the conversion of Indians 

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to Christianity is to be regarded distinctly as an agency, 
rather than as a cause, of conquest. On this point Father 
Engelhardt says: 

"The kings, indeed, desired the conversion of the Indians to 
Christianity, and frequently declared this to be the chief aim of the 
conquest; nevertheless, the object for which alone expenses were 
incurred was poUtical." 

and again 

" The men who presmned to guide the destinies of Spain . . • 
cared naught for the success of ReUgion or the welfare of its min- 
isters, except in so far as both could be used to promote pohtical 

Anybody who has made an extensive study of the docu- 
ments of the period will recognize that these statements 
are essentially true. Unquestionably, the conversion of the 
Indians was the principal object of the missionaries, but 
with the government it was merely a means to an end; if 
funds were provided for missions, it was because some po- 
litical advantage was expected or in order that some danger 
to the state might be averted. As an agency of conquest, 
however, the work of the religious, as already indicated, 
was very important. 

One other important agency of conquest had to combine 
with these elements which were permanently in the field if a 
striking advance were to be made toward and into the 
Californias, especially in the absence of definite information 
of a foreign invasion to act as an exceptional spur to con- 
quest. The difficulties to be overcome — geographical bar- 
riers, the insufficient funds which the government was willing 
to apply, the hindrances of graft and administrative cimi- 
bersomeness, the nimierous Indians to be encountered, and 
the competition of Europeans — ^were so great that only a 
leader of extraordinary energy and ability could push ahead 
of the normal march of conquest. Salvatierra and Ugarte 
demonstrated the necessary qualities in Baja Califomia, 
but no other great leader appeared imtil the arrival of Jos^ 
de G&lvez in 1765. There were many, however, who paved 

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the way for later conquests by their explorations of little 
known lands or by their propaganda in favor of an advance. 
Three factors should be considered, then, in dealing with the 
Spanish approach to Alta California: projects for an ad- 
vance, including the activities of individuals and the plans 
of the government; the obstacles in the way of an advance; 
and the normal march of conquest by the land route through 

The initial impulse for the Spanish advance over the last 
stretch of land that separated New Spain from the Calif or* 
nias was given by Father Eusebio Francisco Kino of the 
Jesuit order. In 1687, when he established the mission 
Dolores on one of the upper branches of the Sonora River, he 
took the first step toward bringing Pimerfa Alta within the 
frontier and extending the Spanish occupation to its Pacific 
coast objectives of Baja California and Monterey. His major 
interest, aside from the inmiediate problems connected with 
his missionary labors in Pimerfa Alta, was the discovery and 
development of a supply-route to Baja California. As a mem* 
ber of the Atondo colony of 1683-1685, as already stated, he 
had acquired an interest in the peninsula which thereafter 
he never ceased to have. He it was who inspired Salvatierra 
to make the attempt which had resulted in the Jesuit occu- 
pation of Baja California in 1697. After exploring the Gila 
and Colorado valleys Kino became interested in the northern 
lands as well, hoping to reach Monterey. He trusted that the 
Manila galleon might be ordered to stop there and send 
goods overland to Sonora; and he grew to believe that a set- 
tlement should be founded on the Colorado River to serve as 
a base for operations against the Apaches and Moquis to the 
east and northeast and for the conquest of the Califomias 
on the one hand and the lands intervening between Sonora 
and New Mexico on the other. These ideas constituted in 
effect the program of Spanish northwestward conquest for 
the next hundred years. The partial fulfilment of his plan 
by the Anza expeditions of 1775-1776 from Sonora to Monte- 
rey was to have tremendous consequences to the eventual ad- 
vantage of California and the United States, just as the 

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failure of the Colorado-Gila settlements in 1781 was to have 
equally important and, as it turned out, equally fortunate 
residts. Kino is therefore one of the headlights in the list of 
those men who contributed to the founding of Spanish 
California. Not only did he possess these ideas himself, but 
he also disseminated them in his volimiinous writings, in- 
cluding correspondence, memorials, and a volxmie recoimting 
his experiences. 

In the quarter of a century following his appearance in 
Pimerfa Alta, Kino and his companions pushed the frontier 
of mission work and exploration to the GUa and the lower 
Colorado. By 1695 Kino had established a chain of missions 
up and down the valley of the Altar. His repeated journeys 
of exploration took him, among other places, to the borders 
of the Calif omias, and enabled him to help clear up the geo- 
graphical puzzles about those lands. Kino had come to 
America in the belief that California was a peninsula, but, 
under the influence of current teachings, had accepted the 
idea that it was an island. During his last journey to the 
Gila, however, he had been given some blue shells such as he 
had seen on the western coast of Baja California and no- 
where else. He now reasoned that California must after all 
be a peninsula, and that it might be possible to find a land 
route over which to send supplies to Salvatierra's struggling 
missions. To test this view was the principal object of his 
later explorations. In 1700 he for the first time descended 
the Gila to its junction with the Colorado. In the following 
year, accompanied by Salvatierra, he tried to reach the head 
of the gulf by going up the coast from Sonoita. Failing in 
this, he went to the Gila junction, descended the Colorado 
nearly to its mouth, and crossed over on a raft. In 1702 he 
again descended the Colorado, this time reaching the gulf. 
He had now proved, to his own satisfaction at least, that 
California was a peninsula. Meanwhile, Kino and his 
brother-friars had pushed the missionary frontier to the 
Gila. In 1700 he founded the mission of San Javier del Bac, 
and within the next two years those of Tumacdx^ori and Gue- 
vavi, all in the Santa Cruz valley and within modem Ari- 

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zona. Kino's exploring tours were also itinerant missions, 
and in the course of them he baptized and taught in numer- 
ous villages up and down the Gila and Colorado and through- 
out Pimerfa Alta. 

Kino had blazed the trail. The record of the next half 
century after the completion of his own labors in 1711 
amoimts to a cumulation of achievements along lines that he 
had already laid down. Fathers Agustfn Campos, Juan de 
Ugarte, Ignacio Keller, Jacobo Sedelmayr, and Fernando 
Consag of the Jesuit order carried on explorations in the 
Colorado-Gila country and in the Gulf of California. The 
most important result of their work was the definite proof, 
obtained by Ugarte and Consag that there was no strait 
separating the Calif omias from the mainland; development 
of overland routes for further settlements and the carrying 
of supplies was therefore possible. Noteworthy, too, were 
the problems in imaginary geography arising from Sedel- 
mayr's journey of 1744, when he ascended the Colorado to 
Bill WiUiams Fork. Fears arose lest the French (and after 
1763 the English) might be near the sources of the Colorado. 
Sedelmayr had also heard that there was a certain Rfo 
Amarillo '*a little farther on,'' beyond where he had gone, 
and that it flowed westward out of the Colorado. People 
wondered whether this might be the Carmelo which emptied 
near Monterey, a tiny stream which Vizcaino had exagge- 
rated to the proportions of a mighty river. The proximity of 
the French or of the English and the water-courses by which 
they might advance against New Spain werejjused henceforth 
as leading arguments for an occupation of the Colorado-Gila 
country and Monterey. 

The names of those who fell heir to Kino's ideas are 
legion. The Jesuits Jos6 de Ortega (1754), Andres Burriel 
(1757), and Francisco Javier Alegre (1767) published books 
in which were set forth similar arguments to those that Kino 
had made. The same things came out in the memorials of 
Campos, Sedelmayr, Escobar (head of the Jesuits in New 
Spain), Pedro Altamirano (head of the order in Spain), and 
Juan Antonio Balthasar, also of the Jesuit order, and of 

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other individuals such as Captain Juan Bautista de Anza 
(father of the Anza who headed the expeditions of 1774 and 
1775-1776 to Alta California), Bishop Benito Crespo of 
Puebla, a certain Jos6 de Messa, Captain Fernando Sanchez, 
and another military officer named Pedro de Labaquera. 
Royal officials in Mexico City and Spain were distinctly 
interested. Nearly every viceroy and the fiscales^ of the 
Avdienda of Mexico and of the Council of the Indies gave 
these projects their serious consideration, and so also did 
Spanish ministers of state such as Cardinal Alberoni, Fer- 
nando Trivino, the Marques de Ensenada, and JuU^ de 
Arriaga. King Philip V was so much interested that he 
attended meetings of the Council of the Indies in which 
these matters were discussed. Among the outstanding 
memorialists of the other government officials were Jos6 
Gallardo, tdsitador in Sonora in 1748-1749, and the Marqu6s 
de Altamira, an official of the Avdienda of Mexico. It 
should be stated that very few of these individuals recognized 
that they were following in Kino's footsteps, but the fact 
that so many of them reached virtually the same conclusions, 
though independently, proves how important the matter of 
an advance to the Californias by way of the Gila and Colo- 
rado was regarded. It will not be possible to give in detail 
the views of these men, but a reference to some of their 
recommendations may well be made. 

The entire period under consideration was filled with royal 
decrees evincing interest in the extension of conquests in 
the Californias and in the occupation of the Colorado and Gila 
basins. Especially notable was one of January 29, 1716, for 
which Alberoni, then dominant in Spanish politics, is said 
to have been responsible, although it is likely that he was 
influenced by the memorials of Kino, whose ideas appear in 

^ The fiscales were individuak at- most important individiiaLs in the 
tached to Audiencias and Councils Spanish administrative system whe- 

to whom matters were referred for an ther in Spain or in the colonies. As a 

opinion. They were lawyers, but their general rule the opinions of the fisccdes 

advice was not confined to legal af- were followed verbatim. Particularly 

fairs. In practice, during the eigh- was this true of the fiscales of the 

teenth century, they were among the Council of the Indies. 

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the decree. The decree itself was like many another, asking 
information as to the progress of conversions in the Call- 
fomias, referring to the great importance of promoting 
spiritual conquest there, and ordering the viceroy to fulfil 
a decree of July 26, 1708, requiring him to take steps in the 
matter. At the same time orders were given to promote the 
advancement of the Sonora missions; and verbal instructions 
were issued to the viceroy to explore the Pacific coasts and 
to f oimd colonies and presidios there. In addition to these 
colonies Alberoni planned 

''in like manner to advance the Spanish domain with new set- 
tlements Iq the vast unknown territories to the north of Sonora 
from the Gila and Colorado rivers onward." 

The last-named settlements might send their products to 
the new colonies on the coast, and receive in exchange what 
they needed, he argued. These regions were not to rely on 
New Spain and Europe for trade, but were to develop com- 
merce with the Philippines. Alberoni was not left in peace 
to work out his ideas, and a few years later, after a stormy 
career in power, he found himself an exile from Spain. The 
viceroy called a junta,* however, to act upon the decree of 
1716, and all but one member approved a plan to found at 
least one colony on the west coast of the Califomias. The 
member in opposition was a Jesuit, and his views, supported 
by others of his order, were allowed to prevail; the Jesuits 
feared that the new colonies would prove a detriment to the 
work of conversion then being carried on by them in Baja 

* The Junta de Ouerra y Real Ear varied, but was usually about ten or 
cienda of the viceroyalty was one of twelve. Most of them held adminis* 
the most important institutions in trative posts connected with financial 
Spanish colonial administration. Its affairs and were in this capacity the 
consent was necessary for the expen- subordinates of the viceroy. Ordin- 
diture of royal funds, and it was often arily the viceroy welcomed the coun- 
called upon to deliberate whether a sels of the jurUa and foUowed them, 
given project should be ordered or just as on other matters he accepted 
not. It was, however, very human in the suggestions of the fiscal. Special 
its workings, in that a viceroy could juntas of experts in a ^ven matter 
override the law and dominate or were also called, from tune to time, 
even dispense with the jurUa^ if he so but these bodies were purely consul- 
dor i red. The number of members tative. 

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The next capital moment along the line of the overland 
advance came as the result of a most extraordinary incident. 
In 1736 a remarkable silver mine was discovered at or near 
a place called Arizonac, or Arizona, just south of the border 
of the present-day state of Arizona. The more usual name 
for the mine at that time was Bolas de Plata (Balls of Silver), 
or Planchas de Plata (Nuggets of Silver), because the pre- 
cious metal was found in balls, or nuggets, of almost pure 
silver. These were on or near the surface, and were of im- 
mense size, some of them weighing a ton or more. Accounts 
diJBFered, but there were several stating that the largest 
nugget weighed 3500 pounds; one of the reputed finders, 
Fermln, spoke of a 4000-po\md nugget, and said that there 
were many of about 500 pounds. There was an immediate 
rush of miners to the spot. Captain Anza of Fronteras 
interfered with them, claiming that the bolas belonged prop- 
erly to the king. According to law, one-fifth of the silver 
accrued to the king if the discovery were a mine, but if it 
were a hidden treasure the king was entitled to all. Anza 
claimed that if it were not a hidden treasure, it was at least 
a "criadero,^' or growing-place, of silver, and therefore be- 
longed to the national treasury. The viceroy reversed Anza's 
decision, but the royal decree of 1741 sustained the Fronteras 
captain. It is doubtful whether Anza could have held back 
the miners if the mines had proved to be extensive, and it is 
said that his interference was not very effective anyway, the 
greater part of the wealth going to the discoverers. Anza 
himself stated that he had difficulty in saving any for the 
king. Although the region was rich in mineral wealth of the 
ordinary type, the bolas seem to have been but a superficial 
deposit, and nothing is heard of them after 1741. Neverthe- 
less the boUis incident did lead to an official consideration of 
northwestward conquest by way of the Colorado and Gila 
rivers. The bolas de plata were a definitely proved item of 
wealth, which was infinitely more important than, for exam- 
ple, a fabled mountain of gold. Where so much silver had 
been founds there was good reason to expect that more 

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It was this incident that gave rise to the memorials of 
Anza, Bishop Crespo, and Messa recommending an exten- 
sion of the Spanish conquest. Writing to the viceroy on 
January 14, 1737, about the discovery of the bolas, Anza 

"The discovery of these balls of silver, most excellent sir, — 
an unprecedented wealth under the circumstances and right at 
the liinits of the Christian conquest, — ^has come so like a bolt from 
the blue, that many learned, zealous, and prudent men deem it a 
sign from the ever-merciful God, author of all things, that we 
should push farther into the interior. Though indeed the quantity 
of wealth discovered is not overhwelming in amount, it is [in such a 
form that it is] strong evidence that greater riches may be found by 
which the reduction of souls may be brought about, just as has hap- 
pened [elsewhere] in both Americas ... I am aware of the fact 
that many projects which were proposed in entire earnestness in 
former years have not been successful on account of the difficulties 
experienced in practice, in various provinces and in different 
cases, and much money has been expended. But in order that there 
shall be a beginning (and here my project begins) of a discovery 
up to the Colorado River and some leagues beyond, it need not 
cost much. The funds can be procured, perhaps, from pious indi- 
viduals, and I shall contribute horses, cattle, mules, and small 
articles as gifts for the Indians . . . This project is in my opinion 
the best way to bring about what shall in the future seem desir- 
able, and as the inhabitants [of the Colorado-Gila country] are 
industrious it is to be presimied that it will not be difficult to re- 
duce them; it would be otherwise if they lived by hunting with 
the bow and arrow and upon wfld fruits and roots, for it would 
then be almost impossible to conquer them, as I know from 

Anza also quoted a number of reports of early explorers, and 
reviewed the evidence for belief in the wealth of the north. 
The vast ruin on the GUa known as the Casa Grande and an 
even greater one in Chihuahua, built, he thought, by Aztec 
kings in the course of their migration southward, were men- 
tioned by him in support of this beUef . Indians of the Gila 
had told Jesuit visitors of the existence of quicksilver in the 
north. Anza had something to say, too, of the island Cali- 
fornia, of the strait through the continent, and of the Seven 
Cities, GranTeguayo, andQuivira, and, as usual (as already 

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indicated), the vast number of Indians awaiting conversion 
was adduced as an argument for an expedition. 

Favorable action was taken on Anza's proposal in 1737- 
1738, both in Mexico City and in Spain, but before matters 
had reached the stage of an expedition the Fronteras captain 
lost his life, in 1739, in a battle with the Apaches. It was in 
any event too early for the execution of this plan, with the 
limited resources Spain would have been willing to apply; 
the situation in Sonora was not yet favorable for an advance 
unless the government were ready to make an extraordinary 
effort or unless a man of exceptional ability should appear 
on the scene to make slender means serve great ends. Im- 
portant action was taken, however, though not precisely 
what Anza had proposed. The government's hand in Sonora 
was strengthened through the founding of two presidios, and 
the day of land communication with Alta Cahfomia was 
advanced in just the ratio that that contributed to the peace 
of regions along the line of march thereto from New 

Meanwhile the government never lost sight of the project 
of occupying the Califomias through the means of Spanish 
settlements as well as by strengthening the Jesuit missions. 
George Anson, commander of an English naval vessel, had 
contributed to this attitude on the part of Spain, for he had 
appeared off the west coast of New Spain in 1742, and had 
subsequently captured the galleon in the Philippines. This 
period was also one of great activity upon the part of the 
French; at least the Spanish government was much worried 
lest they should push their conquests to the headwaters of 
the Colorado and down that river to the Gulf of California. 
The discussions eventually came to revolve about five 
memorials drawn up in 1751 by Fernando Sdnchez, a captain 
of cuirassiers in Sinaloa and Sonora, four of them combined 
in one dociunent and addressed to the king, and the fifth 
directed to a junta which had been called in Mexico City. 
The first three aimed at the internal development of Sinaloa 
and Sonora as the necessary prerequisite to an advance 
of the frontiers. Sinchez recommended the seculariza 

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tion' of the missions of Sinaloa and southern Sonora, the 
removal of unruly elements (undesirable whites and some of 
the malcontent tribes, such as the Seris, Pimas, and Apaches, 
especially the last-named) from the province, and a better 
provision for agricultural and mineral development. The 
fourth memorial, looking toward conquests in the region 
of the Colorado and Gila, contained the matter of chief 
interest to Sdnchez, who devoted the letter with which he 
remitted the four representations to a summary, mainly, 
of the fourth. In this letter he said: 

'* Sir, France is secretly taking great strides to extend her set- 
tlements to the frontiers of ours, encircling us from our borders on 
the east until now she finds herself along that of the north in the 
vicinity of New Mexico, and she has only to turn slightly to the 
west to come upon the South Sea [Pacific Ocean] where the Car- 
melo River empties ... It is very important to your crown to 
resolve upon the founding of strong settlements in the regions of 
the Colorado and Gila. When this is done it will serve three ends: 
one, to prevent the French conquests from ever penetrating to the 
South Sea; second, the great advantage it will be [as a base of op- 
erations] for our conquests among those nations of Indians [in 
the regions of the Colorado and Gila]; and third, so that we the 
vassals of Your Majesty shall occupy [Alta California] the richest 
and most abundant land that this vast kingdom contains. In this 
way it wiU follow that within a few years it will be necessary to 
place a viceroy in San Juan, Sonora, or the royal mining camp 
and city of Chihuahua whose jurisdiction shall comprise the gov- 
ernments of Sonora, New Mexico, Nueva Vizcaya, and the con- 
quests of the Colorado River. According to this arrangement the 
troops in those parts will be governed by quick and more effica- 
cious measures to the advantage of your royal service, and in 
course of time many other favorable considerations will accrue."* 

In the memorial proper Sdnchez referred to a westward 
branch of the Colorado which might prove to be the Car- 

* The secularization of the mis- plete; in fact, it meant that the re- 

sions meant their removal from mis- gion in question had ceased to have 

sionary rule and the succession of the the characteristics of a frontier prov- 

secular clergy to spiritual authority. ince. 

The Indians were emancipated from * The matter in brackets was sup- 
economic control and given the lands phed from the ori^al of the me- 
of the missions. In theorv it indicated morial, which combmes the four rep- 
that the conversion ana civilisation resentations to the king in a docu« 
of the native were reasonably com- ment of 114 pages. 

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melo, thus furnishing the French with an easy route to 
Monterey. In the dooument that he directed to the junta 
Sdnchez urged an expedition to explore a route to the sea 
at the point where the Carmelo emptied, though the (Colo- 
rado River settlements should first be made secure, and he 
added that an establishment on the Carmelo would be use- 
ful both for the Manila galleon and as a check against for- 
eign enemies, particularly the French. The French were 
very near the "mother range" of the American moun- 
tains, and if they ascended that, they would find the Pacific 
before them. 

The Spanish government i;iow displayed more interest 
than ever before. Jos6 de Goyeneche, fiscal of the Council of 
the Indies, said of the Sanchez proposals that they seemed to 
him to be 

"so important, especially that of the prompt conquest and set- 
tlement of the Colorado River, because of the grave damage that 
may be occasioned to the kingdom of New Spain and its provinces 
by any post of vantage that may advance the French nation, that 
it will be fitting to charge the viceroy to devote his primary atten- 
tion to the conquest and settlement which Don Fernando S4n- 
chez proposes, inasmuch as by the conquest and dislodgment of the 
Sen, Tibur6n, Carrizo, and Salinero Indians the way to the Colo- 
rado and Gila rivers has become free." 

The Indians referred to were all resident in Sonora, and it 
had recently been reported that Governor Ortiz^ had over- 
whelmed them in 1750. In fact Ortiz's "conquest" (?) had 
far from removed the fangs of these enemies. The Council of 
the Indies adopted the views of Goyeneche, and proceeded to 
discuss the advantages of occupying Monterey, if only to 
forestall the French. 

Meanwhile the same interest was being shown in Mexico 
City. One new note appears in a voluminous memorial of 
1751 by the Marqu6s de Altamira. He pointed out, cor- 
rectly, that the problems of occupying the Colorado-Gila 
coimtry could not be separated from those of the frontier as 
a whole, from the Califomias to Texas, the conditions of 
which he reviewed. This, to be sure, was not the first time 
* That is, Diego Ortis Pamlla« often referred to bb P&rrilla* 

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that the Spaniards had grasped the iinity of the frontier as 
a result of the wide-spreading Indian wars. It was this idea 
that had caused the government to send out Pedro de Rivera 
in the years 1724 to 1728 to inspect the presidios of the whole 
northern frontier. Altamira's service lay in pointing out that 
this problem affected projects of conquest to the northwest 
as well as that of directly defending what Spain aheady 
possessed. The bulk of his memorial, however, was devoted 
to the proposed conquest by way of the Colorado and GUa. 
He favored the founding of settlements there as a nucleus for 
an advance to the Calif omias and, in time, to New Mexico. 

Matters seemed ripe for the extraordinary effort which 
could have overcome the hindrances to conquest, when a re- 
volt of the Pimas of Pimeria Alta in 1751 cooled Spanish 
ardor. On hearing of this the fiscal of the Council recom- 
mended, in 1752, that action on Sanchez's proposals should 
be postponed until Sonora were restored to peace, and such 
was the decision of the Coimcil. Several additional pre- 
sidios were established in Sonora, however. Furthermore, 
Sdnchez had formulated a plan, which (with the addition 
of the suggestion contained in Altamira's memorial) became 
the program of the government during the next thirty years, 
though Sdnchez's ideas and the credit therefor were taken 
over by Jos6 de Gdlvez. But Sdnchez, in turn, had merely 
fitted Kino's program to the new circumstances of his own 

After 1752 the authorities gave their principal attention, 
during the next twenty years, to the question of establishing 
good order in Sonora, but the plans for northwestward ad- 
vance were at no time given up. Between 1753 and 1761 
the spur of the French conquests toward New Mexico and 
the Pacific coast was more active than ever. In 1757 Father 
Andres Burriel published anonymously the three-volume 
Notida de la Calif omia which has usually been ascribed to 
Father Miguel Venegas. In addition to the old ideas of the 
Jesuits as to the necessity of developing the land route to 
Baja California aroimd the head of the gulf, Burriel stated 
more clearly than any other writer ever has why Baja Cali^ 

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fomia, the "most disagreeable, barren, and wretched coun- 
try in the world," should have been a matter of so much 
concern to the Spanish crown and the Jesuits. It was be- 
cause of its location, sai^ Burriel, that the conquest of Baja 
California had long been preferred to that of any other Amer- 
ican country; if the peninsula were imoccupied the whole 
western coast of New Spain, 

"from Acapulco to the Colorado River/* would be unsafe, espe- 
cially ''if some European power should erect colonies, forts, and 
presidios on the coast of iiie Califomias." 

This consideration led him to desire that the Spanish mis- 
sions of Sonora and the Califomias should be connected with 
those of New Mexico and extended beyond the Gila and 
Colorado to San Diego, Monterey, and even the reputed 
Aguilar's River in Alta California. Almost as important in 
its effects as Burriel's suggestions in themselves was the 
notice which the work attracted in European countries. It 
was almost at once translated into the leading tongues of 
western Europe, and the English translator showed a smug 
appreciation of the great strategic advantages England 
would enjoy if his coimtrymen might discover the North- 
west Passage and establish themselves in Alta California, 
a land of 

"a pleasant climate" and "fruitful soil, . . . from whence 
they [the English] may, with certainty, command the most valu- 
able branches of conunerce that have been hitherto discovered." 

With the signing of the two treaties of 1761-1762 known 
jointly as the Family Compact the peril from the French 
disappeared, as France and Spain then leagued themselves 
together in opposition to England. Danger from the English 
almost immediately succeeded to the same or even a greater 
place in Spanish councils, for in 1763 England added the vast 
American possessions of France to her already large colonial 
domain. England also was a far more threatening enemy by 
sea than France had been. Nevertheless, it was natural to 
expect that less attention would be paid to an advance of th€ 
Spanish conquest toward Alta CaUf omia than in former years. 

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Spain's crushing defeat in the war of 1762-1763 against 
England and her preparations for a renewal of the contest 
took about all in the way of funds that Spain could get to- 
gether. Furthermore, it had by this time been proved that 
Sonora was not in a suflficiently settled state to permit of a 
normal and reasonably easy advance. So once again Spain 
confined her efforts for a while to strengthening her garrisons 
in that rich but restless province along the northwestern 
border of the kingdom of New Spain. 

It remains to give brief consideration to those factors on 
which the permanence of the settlements eventually founded 
in Alta California was in fact to depend: the obstacles, or 
more particularly the hostile Indians, that stood in the way 
of an establishment of commimications between Sonora and 
Alta California; and the internal development of Sinaloa 
and Sonora, which were in time to provide the more north- 
westerly province with the sinews of continuous existence. 

Indian wars were a continual factor tending to retard the 
development of the frontier provinces and thereby to check 
the Spanish northwestward advance. The Apaches began 
their raids into Sonora before the close of the seventeenth 
century, though northern Nueva Vizcaya (modem Chihua- 
hua) to the east was their principal object of attack. In 
1695 there was a serious revolt of the Pimas of Pimerfa Alta, 
and in 1699 the wars with the Serfs in the region between the 
Yaqui and Sonora rivers commenced. It would be profitless 
to recite the many wars of the next half century or more; 
hardly a year passed without at least one miUtary campaign, 
and frequently there were serious outbreaks. At every 
crucial moment in plans for northwestward advance the 
Indians by their revolts were sure to provide the authorities 
with unanswerable arguments as to the untimeliness of the 
projects. In 1737, when Anza of Fronteras made his sug- 
gestion of an expedition to the Gila and Colorado, the Pimas 
of the coast revolted and took refuge in the Cerro Prieto, an 
almost impregnable mountain stronghold in the vicinity of 
Guaymas. Anza subdued them, but soon had to turn about 
to meet the Apaches, losing his life in battle against them in 

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1739. In 1740-1741 the Mayos and Yaquis in the south rose 
against the mission system to which they had for many years 
been reduced. 

Indian wars in Sonora were even more prominent in the 
period of the Sanchez representations. Governor Ortiz had 
to imdertake a campaign against the Seris in 1750. Alluding 
to this in a letter of 1751 the viceroy referred to the Serfs and 
their neighbors as the disturbing factor which for over a 
century had proved a hindrance to further exploration of 
the Gila and Colorado rivers and to the establishment of 
commimications between the Califomias and the mainland. 
Another letter of the same year made mention of north- 
eastern Sonora as one of the regions where the Apaches 
were wont to commit their depredations. Then came the 
Pima revolt of 1751 which caused the shelving of Sanchez's 
projects. All of the missions, villages, mining camps, and 
ranches in the northwest were destroyed, and two mis- 
sionaries and perhaps a hundred other whit^ lost their lives. 
Troops were rushed to the scene, and the rebellion was 
crushed in 1752, but it was twenty years before prosi)erity 
returned to Pimeria Alta. The Seris had risen again in 
1751, and from that time until 1771 they were almost con- 
stantly at war with the Spaniards, taking refuge, when hard 
pressed, in the Cerro Prieto. Apache warfare was equally 
continuous and annoying; indeed, for the frontier provinces 
as a whole it was far worse, as it ranged from Sonora to 
Texas. One of the best descriptions of Apache warfare was 
provided by Pedro de Labaquera, who, probably in 1760 or 
1761, petitioned the king for a right to make explorations in 
the vicinity of Arizonac and for the command of a presidio 
in that region. This i)etition he accompanied by three me- 
morials which make it manifest that he was the direct heir 
of S^chez's ideas, but as no action seems to have been taken 
upon them they need not be discussed, except as they bear 
upon the Apaches. The memorial about the Apaches, 
which shows a keen knowledge of frontier conditions in 
accounting for the failure to conquer these Indians, has been 
summarized in a recent work as follows : 

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''The Apaches, when attacked, habitually retired to the moun- 
tains which were inaccessible to the presidial troops. This was 
due not merely to the fact that the latter were cavahymen, but to 
the nature of the soldiers themselves. Most of them were mulat- 
toes of very low character, without ambition, and imconquerably 
unwilling to travel on foot, as was necessary in a moimtain attack. 
Moreover, their weapons carried so short a distance that the 
Apaches were wont to get just out of range and to make open jest 
of the Spaniards. Furthermore, some presidial captains were more 
interested in making a personal profit out of their troops, arising 
from the fact that part of the latter's wages was paid in effects, 
than they were in subjecting the enemy, nor did the various cap- 
tains work in harmony when on campaigns. Continuance of the 
Apaches in Apacherut was in the highest degree prejudicial. Not 
only were they a hindrance to conquests toward the Colorado, and 
in the direct route between Sonora and New Mexico, but also they 
endangered regions ahready held by Spain, leading subjected 
Indians, either from fear or from natural inclination, to abandon 
missions and villages, and, whether in alliance with the Apaches or 
by themselves, to commit the same kind of atrocities as the Apa- 
ches did. Labaquera reconunended that two himdred mountain 
fusileers of Spanish blood be recruited in Spain, equipped among 
other things with guns of long range, and despatched to New Spain 
for service against the Apaches. These men, imder a disinterested 
leader, would quickly subject the Apaches, and might then be 
^ven lands in that region. Being of a higher stamp than the pre- 
sidial soldiers they would be eager to develop their lands, and 
would be a permanent source of strength to that coimtry.^' 

In fine, expeditions against the Apaches accomplished little, 
as the Indians could never be brought to a general engage- 
ment. Often the Apaches took advantage of expeditions 
against them to raid the country about the presidios, thus 
deprived of its usual guard. 

"It is impossible to estimate the damages suffered in Sonora," 
writes Burriel, * 'especially since the death of the brave Captain 
Anza, in villages, settlements, farms, roads, pastures, woods, and 
mines, many of which have been abandoned on that account, 
although very rich." 

Even the mission Indians could no longer be controlled, 
and the Jesuits feared to discipline them, lest it should pro- 
voke a revolt. 

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The Jesuitfi had very greatly lost influence since the Puna 
revolt of 1751, though this was in large measure a reflection 
of the world campaign being waged against them, and their 
conflicts with the military and the settlers had now reached 
the proportions of a serious problem in itself, affecting the 
good order of Sonora. The missions themselves showed the 
effects, for few converts were obtained after 1751. The old 
and the infirm and the women and children resided at the 
missions, but the able-bodied men rarely came in, imless 
impelled by hunger or by fear of the Apaches. They re- 
mained in the mountains, or aided the Seris in stirring up 
trouble. Meanwhile, demands of the white settlers for 
secularization of the missions became more insistent, and by 
1755 twenty-two missions of Sinaloa had been taken away 
from the Jesuits and placed imder the authority of the bishop 
of Durango. 

A review of the internal conditions of Sinaloa and Sonora 
shows that at no time were affairs in such a state as to war- 
rant an extension of the frontiers, unless a more than 
ordinary effort were to be made. Nevertheless, there was 
much progress. By 1763 Sinaloa had undergone adjustment 
to white rule, and could no longer be considered a frontier 
province. Much the same thing could be said for southern 
Sonora and part of the Sonora River valley. The advance 
to the northwest did not need to be stayed on account of 
these regions. Northeastern Sonora and Pimeria Alta, 
though rich in mineral wealth, were far from being adjusted 
to an orderly state; either governmental effort or else an un- 
usual impulse to settlement, such as rich discoveries in 
precious metals, was needed there. The same thing was 
true of the coast regions where the Seris and other malcon- 
tents lived, but there the problem was in a measure more 
serious, as wealth in gold and silver did not exist, wherefore 
there was no great liu*e to attract white colonists; indeed, as 
already stated, the line of conquest in the northwest had 
always followed that of mineral wealth. It would seem, 
therefore, that the situation in Sonora was not hopelessly 
bad, if only the government would exert itself to conquer the 

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Seris and repulse the Apaches, but this it did not do, at 
the time. Consequently the authorities were frequently 
memorialized as to the best methods of saving the province, 
and many of the writers showed a great deal of pessimism 
and despondency.* 

Nevertheless, incontrovertible evidence is at hand that if 
conditions in Sonora were lacking in stability it was because 
the government would not go to the expense, or rather reduce 
its profits, in order to apply a remedy. The principal finan- 

* Internal conditioDS of Sinaloa and 
Sonora are well illustrated by the 
statistics of population obtained by 
Bishop Tamaron while on a dioce- 
san tour from 1759 to 1763. At that 
time there were in the two prov- 
inces 32,000 of Spanish or mixed 
blood, and 31,000 Indians professing 
Christianity, of whom 25.000 lived in 
missions. There were fir^ missions, 
most of them in Sonora. The number 
of unconverted Indians was very 
large, but no estimate of them was 

The neater part of the white popu- 
lation uved in Sinaloa. White settle- 
ments were the rule there, the excep- 
tions being a few Indian villages 
alon^ the coast, where there was not 
the mducement of mineral wealth to 
draw the Spanish settler. There were 
some considerable towns in Sinaloa. 
San Felipe de Sinaloa had a white 
population of 3500; Fuerte, other- 
wise San Juan de Montesclaros, 
1886; Rosario 2459; San Sebastian 
2500; Culiacdn 2216; and MazatUn 
966. These places had nearly half the 
total white population of the two 
l>rovince8. Secularization of mis- 
sions had taken place in most of Sina- 
loa, although the Jesuits were more 
numerous tnan the secular clergy^ but 
they usually served as parish pnests, 
the mission ^tem prevailing but 
Utile. Much of this change came as a 
result of the S^chez memorials, hay- 
uig occurred prior to Tamar6n'8 visit. 
There were probably not many im- 
converted Indians m Sinaloa, or if 
there were they caused no trouble. 

In OsUmuri, as that part of Sono- 

ra below the Yaoui was then called, 
conditions were almost as good as in 
Sinaloa. Alamos had a population of 
3400 of white or mixed race; Bayorca 
1004; Rfo Chico 1400; Trinidad de 
Plata 715; and Soyopa, or San An- 
tonio de ]& Huerta, 300. All of these 
were mining towns. Farther north, 
in the moimtain districts near the 
Sonora valley, there were a number 
of mining towns at considerable dis- 
tances from a presidio, such as Ari- 
vechi, Sahuaripa, Nacori, and Arispe. 
In northeastern Sonora, where the 
Apaches were wont to make raids, 
most of the white population was 
grouped around presidios there and 
near oy in Nueva Vizcaya, there being 
484 at Fronteras. Near the coast, 
where the Seris and their allies were 
numerous, and precious metals not 
plentiful, there were no whites. The 
case witn Pimeria Alta was a little 
better^ due to the existence of gold 
and silver. There were eight mis- 
sions: Suamca, Guevavi, Bm3, Saric, 
Tubutama, Atf. Caborca. and San 
Ignacio. and tnree presioioe, Terre- 
nate, Tubac, and Altar. Subsidiary 
to these were a number of lesser set- 
tlements. In the mission districts 
there were 4223 Indians and 348 
whites, the latter being at the mining 
camps of Guevavi, &nta B^bara, 
Buenavista, Arizonac, and Santa 
Ana. At the presidios there were no 
Indians, but there were 1117 whites, 
including sarrisons of fifty men at 
each predoio. All the wmte settle* 
ments of Pimeria Alta were within 
easy reach of the presidios, without 
which they could not have existed. 

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cial institution of the government in its dealings with the 
frontier provinces was the Real Caja (Royal Treasury) of 
Guadalajara. A study of its operations over the period 
from 1743 to 1781 shows that it sent 86 per cent of its receipts 
to the parent caja real in Mexico, or occasionally small sums 
to others. Of this amount from half to a third was subse- 
quently returned to provide for the expense of the frontier 
provinces. The rest, from 40 to 60 per cent of the total, was 
either sent to Spain or at any rate used elsewhere than in the 
provinces of origin. Sonora, to be sure, was not responsible 
for any great share of this profit, but if a larger portion of the 
total might have been applied in that province it would not 
have been very difficult to overcome the obstacles that were 
withholding the northwestward advance. 

The reason for Spain's policy is not hard to find. Dming 
these years she was straining every nerve to cope with 
European problems, and especially to defend herself from the 
imperialism of England. Thus, many other objects which 
were desirable in themselves had to be sacrificed, and the 
extension of her frontier beyond the Gila and Colorado to 
Alta Califomia was one of them. Spain's choice, then, was 
only one more of the myriad of factors tending to hold back 
the occupation of the rich northern province and to delay 
its populous development. And all this played into the 
hands of the as yet unborn United States, 

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The coming of Jos6 de GAlvez as visOador-general ^ of New 
Spain marks a turning-point in the history of northwestward 
advance. In him had appeared the long-needed, forceful, 
energetic man who was able to overcome obstacles in the 
way of conquest and extend the frontiers to the north. To 
be sure, the primary aims of his visita were financial, with a 
view to increasing the revenues of the crown, and this caused 
him to give the larger share of his attention to the already 
well-settled parts of the viceroyalty, but at no time during 
the six years of his stay, 1765 to 1771, did he fail to show a 
most extraordinary interest in the problems having to do with 
the advance to the Califomias, and some two years of his 
time, 1768 to 1770, were devoted mainly to those questions. 
True, even in these matters he was probably interested 
chiefly in their possibilities from the standpoint of revenues, 
believing that the wealth of the frontier provinces and the 
Califomias could be developed, to the advantage of the royal 
income, if peace might be established and an extension of the 

^ The visiteuior, or visitor, was one of called a vitiUadof, or if engaged in a 

the most typical of Spanish admin- vinto of niajor importance a mitador- 

istrative agencies. The mito, or visit, general, llie vieUa was frequently 

is defined by Joaquin Escriche, a employed in the Spanish colonies in 

leading authority on Spanish law, as military, civil, and religious affairs 

follows: and for purposes both great and 

''The act of jurisdiction through- small. Ko two vieiiae were exactly 
which some sup^or informs himself alike, for every one depended on the 
of the proceedings of ministers of particular circumstances which the 
lower rank or of subjects or of the vieiia was designed to meet. Never- 
state of affairs in the districts of his theless all proceeded on much the 
jurisdiction, goin^ in person to in- same lines, and the visitador ordinar- 
vesti^te or sending some other to ily superseded all other powers in 
do it in his name." authority within the jurisdiction of 

The official making the visita was his visUa, 


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frontiers obtained. Perhaps there was just a shade of some- 
thing Quixotic in his occupation of Alta California in 1769. 
But, if so, his "tilting at windmills" justified itself in the light 
of history, for the name of Jos6 de Gdlvez would almost 
have passed out of memory in the Americas, had it not been 
for the expeditions he sent out to take possession of San 
Diego and Monterey. 

Who was this man who now appeared as an outstanding 
figure in the affairs of the Califomias? Jos6 de Gdlvez was 
an Andalusian Spaniard, possessing many of the lively 
traits of his native province, together with an energy and 
ability which had enabled him to rise from obscurity to a 
position of power and influence. He was bom on January 2, 
1720, at the village of Macharaviaya near V61ez-Malaga on 
the southern coast of Spain. His family was noble and of 
ancient lineage, being of the rank of hijosdalgo, or hidalgo^ 
but that meant little in a land where the nobility of this 
grade was numbered by the hundreds of thousands. If 
there were others of lower degree and poor to the verge of 
poverty, the Gdlvez family was at least not well endowed 
with worldly goods, and Jos6 and his brothers were simple 
country boys, without opportunities for education and 
advancement, eking out a living through tending the 
paternal flocks. When Jos6 was only eleven or twelve years 
old he had the good fortune to attract the attention of the 
bishop of Mdlaga, who took him to Malaga to educate him for 
the priesthood. It was this that gave Gdlvez his start in life. 
With the aid of his clerical sponsors he at length became en- 
rolled as a student in the University of Salamanca, where he 
began the study of law, eschewing the holy calling for which 
his first patron had wished to educate him. From the uni- 
versity he went to Madrid to practice law. For many years 
he was inconspicuous, but eventually opportunity again 
knocked at his door, apparently as a result of his finding a 
new and powerful patron. His second wife was a French- 
woman, and through her G^vez became acquainted with the 
most eminent Frenchmen in Madrid. His own knowledge of 
the French tongue and his grace and facility of expression 

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JOBfi D£ GALVEZ 209 

helped him to retain the friendships he had made, and it was 
thus that he became the legal councillor of a secretary in the 
French embassy. Utilizing his opportunities in this capacity, 
he attracted the notice of the Spanish Minister of State, the 
Marques de Grimaldi, who employed him as one of his 

It was in 1765, when Qiivez was in his forty-fifth year, 
that the great chance of his life came to him. A visitation of 
New Spain for the purpose of increasing the revenues from 
that Idngdom had been determined upon, but there was 
some difficulty in finding a suitable individual to do the work. 
Several appointments were considered, or even made, but 
with the death of the most recent appointee in 1764 the post 
was still unfilled. It was then that the name of Gdlvez was 
brought forward, and on February 20, 1765, he was named 
visitador-general of New Spain. In the month of July of the 
same year, he reached Vera Cruz, and soon afterward took 
up the work of his visitation. 

With his manifold activities in the general affairs of the 
viceroyalty — such as his visitations at Vera Cruz and 
Acapulco, his institution of the tobacco monopoly, his ex- 
pedition to Guanajuato, and the e3q)ulsion of the Jesuits — 
this volxmie has no concern. At the outset he was handi- 
capped by the opposition of Viceroy Cruillas, but the latter 
was superseded in 1766 by the French-descended Marqufe 
(Francisco) de Croix, with whom GAlvez was able to work 
in entire harmony ; indeed, they were the best of friends, and 
it was Gilvez rather than Croix who must be considered the 
virtual ruler of New Spain during Croix's inciunbency, 1766 
to 1771. Of special concern, then, is the character of this 
very human individual to whom Californians owe so much. 

Enough has already been said about his ability. This had 
to combine, however, with certain other traits, ordinarily 
regarded as weaknesses, in order to produce the expeditions 
to Alta California, just as in later years the same traits 
served to diminish the value of his work from the stand- 
point of his own times. Gdlvez had risen from nothing, 
partly through currying favor, and had developed an in- 

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210 A mjBrroRT of California 

satiable personal ambition and a kind of egptism, which if 
it did not express itself in his ordinaiy daily speech was al- 
ways at hand for the purpose of ''feathering his own nest." 
He was also capable of malignant vindictiveness against 
those who opposed him or belittled his achievements. On 
the other hand he was amiable in personality and in some 
respects generous to a fault ; his concern for the advancement 
of his own relatives, townsmen, and personal friends, if 
indeed it evidenced a certain kindliness and gratitude, was 
nevertheless of the worst sort of nepotism and not altogether 
dissociated from what would at the present time be termed 
graft. It seems likely that G^vez's desire to win personal dis- 
tinction entered into his plans for conquests in the Cali- 
fomias. He knew from Burriel's Noticia of the importance 
of such conquests, and he also knew that no other region 
offered him a better opportunity. Therefore he bent his 
energies to the accomplishment of this task, using methods 
that savored distinctly of indirection (some instances of which 
will be given in the course of this and the nesct chapter) as 
well as those which were less open to objection. His enter- 
prise was blessed with success, and but for the serious illness 
of the visUadar it would have been an even more striking 
achievement than it turned out to be. 

The expeditions of 1769 made use of the sea route from 
the mainland to Baja California and from there in two 
divisions, by sea again and up the peninsula, to Alta Cali- 
fornia. Nobody, more than Gdlvez, knew that this was a 
departure from the normal line of advance by the overland 
route through Sonora, but the visitador felt sure that his own 
measiires in Sonora would soon link up the Alta California 
extremity with that province. Almost from the moment 
of his arrival in New Spain, G^vez began to give attention 
to the problems of the far northwest. Largely through his 
instrumentality plans were made in the fall of 1765 for an 
expedition to Sonora to suppress the Indian insurrectionaries 
there. At his own request Gilvez was entrusted with the 
task of obtaining money to finance the expedition, for there 
was nothing in the royal treasury that the government was 

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willing to devote to this purpose. The funds were to be 
raised by voluntary subscriptions, troops were to be en- 
listed, and ships were to be built on the Pacific coast to carry 
the Spanish forces to Sonora. Once the Indians were de- 
feated the ground was to be held by the founding of a number 
of settlements, the human material for which was to be 
drawn from the hopelessly poor or imdesirable elements of 
the cities. 

Gdlvez's quarrel with Cruillas delayed fulfilment of these 
plans, but after Croix's arrival in 1766 they were again taken 
up. The king, meanwhile, had given a reluctant consent, 
for he did not share in Gdlvez's belief in the efficacy of a 
formal expedition or of the particular kind of colonists it was 
proposed to send. Nevertheless a force of three hundred and 
fifty men was recruited and placed under the command of 
Colonel Domingo Elizondo, who might also count on enough 
more Spanish soldiers and Indian auxiliaries in Sonora to 
swell his numbers to more than a thousand. In April 1767 
Elizondo and his men left Mexico City for Tepic, where they 
were to be quartered until the boats could be gotten ready 
to take them to Sonora. Not until March 1768 did they at 
length disembark atGuaymas ready to begin the campaign. 
That the expedition was undertaken at all had been due to 
G&Lybz, for there were few who shared his enthusiasm. The 
visitador, however, had left no stone unturned to gain his 
ends. A letter by him to Governor Juan Pineda of Sonora 
in the fall of 1766 shows the trickery he was willing to em- 
ploy, even to deceive his good friend Croix. After giving 
some inexpensive flattery to Pineda, Gdlvez went on to tell 
of the opposition of his enemies to the project of the Sonora 
expedition and of the need for some counterbalancing argu- 
ments to influence the new viceroy's decision. Continuing, 
G^vez said: 

" From this information, which I give you informally and con- 
fidentially, you will infer how necessary it is . . . that you im- 
press upon His Excellency at once the indispensable need of the 
expedition . . . and inform him that it is not impossible [to con- 
quer the Indians once and for all by force], if the plan is adopted 

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of gRiidiiig 
which win 

tUtfaer veteran troops. Toa may add anjrthiiig dse 
remove the fear or beaitatioD i^ch perverse envious 
pemms desiie to instfl into His ExoeUencjr's mind throu^ sheer 
malignity . . . 

" The Marqute de Croix, I repeat to you, esteems my discourse 
above that of aD others, but as he observes that I am of another 
profession [not military], and as he knows that I have not been in 
that country, he may lack confidence in the success of the expedi- 
tion, to which he sees me with the greatest ardor committed. Hence 
it is fitting that you, in vour report to him, express yourself as 
forcefully as you did for the purpose of arousiag enthusiasm in 
me — a goliUa [mere lawyer]; in this case this will be the easier to 
do, as his instincts are aJl niilitary/' 

No doubt Pineda complied with this virtual order; G^vez's 
charactCT was such that it might have gone hard with him if 
he had not, for the visHador did not easily forgive those who 
opposed him. At any rate, Croix supported the expedition 
more readily than G&lvez had anticipated, and the project 
was given full and fair trial.' 

But the suppression of Indian warfare in Sonora was only 
an incident in the vast program of the mifcidar, who in- 
tended to go to Sonora himself to put his ideas into execution 
as soon as Elizondo should have triumphed in the military 
campaign. The ke3rnote of his plans was his proposed! es- 
tablishment of a new government, independent of the vice- 
royalty of New Spain, to embrace the frontier provinces of 
Nueva Vizcaya, Sonora, Sinaloa, and the Califomias. 
Similar plans had frequently been suggested in earlier years, 
on the ground that the viceroy in Mexico City was too far 
away to give these distant regions their proper share of atten- 
tion. The direct ancestors of Gdlvez's plan were the Sdnchez 
reconmiendations of 1751 and a proposal of 1760 for a 
viceroyalty made up of the provinces within the jurisdiction 
of the Avdienda of Guadalajara. The GAlvez projects were 

* During hiB expedition of 1767 to pray long hours and would ask the 
Guanajuato, G^ves punished the Virgin what to do with the rebels. At 
inhabitants of that redon with a length he would lift his hand for a 
ruthless hand for the reoellion they pen to write down the judgment of 
had engaged in, but even in this case the Viigin^-— and the sentence was one 
he did not neglect to employ his usual of death. History records few more ex- 
methods of indirection and self- tremeinstancesof shifting the burden 
exoulpation. It is said that he would from one's own shoulders than this I 

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embodied in four imp<»tant documents of the year 1768. 
The visitador maneuvered so as to make it appear that he was 
agreeing to suggestions made by others, or at least merely 
sharing in the origination of ideas of which it happened that 
he heartily approved. In fact he was the prime mover in all 
of these matters, as is clearly set forth in the correspondence 
of the viceroy. In the case of the^nto of February 25, which 
granted wide powers to Gdlvez, the visitador made a showing 
of modesty by refraining from casting a vote, but his secre- 
tary tells us that he had in fact dominated the j^nto and had 
dictated its decision three days before it met. 

The first of the f oiu* great dociunents was the recommenda- 
tion of the visitador, on January 15, for the establishment of 
a system of intendancies in New Spain, designed to increase 
the profits of the crown. This aimed at the collection of 
internal revenues by officials called intendants, of whom 
there were to be eleven. Three of these were to be in the 
new frontier government in Durango, Sonora, and the Cali- 
fomias. The inclusion of the Califomias is the noteworthy 
feature of the plan, for that territory had figured heretofore 
only as a drain on the royal estate. Gdlvez intended that it 
should be more thorou^y occupied and developed. On 
January 21 a junta was called to decide who should head the 
expedition to the frontier provinces, and it is not surprising 
that Gdlvez was selected, — since he had so determined. He 
was to wait xmtil the troops had restored peace, and was 
then to reorganize the government and establish colonies. 
Two days later the GAlvez plan (signed also by Croix) for a 
new government of the frontier provinces was ready. 

As already stated, the GAlvez plan provided for a govern- 
ment of the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Sinaloa, Sonora, 
and the Califomias apart from the viceroyalty. It was to be 
called a commandancy-general, ruled by a commandant- 
general, who was to be a viceroy in all but the social dis- 
tinction which went with the latter title. It was expected 
that the plan would restore peace to the frontier and that 
then in a few years those vast provinces (which were 
described as undoubtedly richer in mineral products than any 

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that had been discovered m North America) might equal or 
even surpass those of New Spain. Great emphasis was 
placed upon the preventive importance of the plan as against 
the dangers of foreign attack. Attention was called to the 
opportimity and the keen desire of European powers to es- 
tablish themselves at Monterey or elsewhere along the 
coast of the Califomias, and the govenmient was reminded 
of the efforts the French and Knglish had made during two 
centuries to find a passage to the Pacific from their colonies 
on the Atlantic. Now that England had taken the colonies 
of France, said Gdlvez, she would not rest imtil she had 
pushed forward her discoveries to the Lake of the Woods, 
whence a great river flowed westward. If this river should 
prove to be the Colorado or should reach the Pacific, then 
the English were already near New Mexico and not far from 
the Pacific. Reports had also been published in recent years, 
continued Gdlvez, showing that the Russians were encroach- 
ing upon the California coasts, and since Anson's voyage the 
English and the Dutch had been acquiring information about 
Spain's ports in the Pacific, especially those of the Cali- 
fomias. Any one of these three peoples might easily plant a 
colony in Monterey, a port with excellent facilities for a 
settlement. Thus Spain's possessions in the Pacific might 
be invaded and exploited as those of the Atlantic (from 
Virgmia to Georgia) had been. Monterey ought to be 
occupied by Spain at once, through the despatch of a sea 
expedition. Later, the commandancy-general should ex- 
tend its frontiers in that direction and set up colonies in 
other ports. The capital of the commandancy-general 
should not be in Durango, as the plan of 1760 had proposed, 
because that was too far from Sonora and farther still from 
the Califomias. The capital ought to be on the Sonora 
frontier at or near the Gila; while it was being established 
the government should be set up at Caborca (the nearest 
settlement to the Califomias) or at the jimction of the Gila 
and Colorado rivers. 

The emphasis on conquering the Califomias, it is to be 
noted, was one of the principal factors in the G^vez plan. 

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Clearly, too, the visitadar intended to make Sonora the prov- 
ince upon which the new conquests should depend, though 
as a temporary expedient a sea expedition was to occupy 
Monterey. On February 26 a junta was agaiu called, to 
authorize the plans Gdlvez had made for his visit to the 
frontier. Among the provisions of the decision of the junta 
(which confirmed verbatim all that Gdlvez had asked) were 
the following: Gdlvez was to act not only in his capacity of 
viaitador but also with the authority of the viceroy; he was 
to found a number of frontier settlements with armed 
colonists; among these was to be the futiu^ capital of the 
commandancy-general on the Sonora frontier, midway 
between the Calif omias and Nueva Vizcaya; and free com- 
merce between Sonora and the Calif omias was to be per- 

Every one of these important documents received the 
sanction of the king. The commandancy-general was not 
actually established until 1776, and the system of inten- 
dancies was postponed xmtil 1786, but they formed the basis 
of Spanish action from the time of their enactment onward. 
The commandancy-general would very likely have been 
put into effect in 1769 or 1770 if affairs in Sonora had gone 
to the visitador^s liking and if he had retained his health dur- 
ing his visit there. In the meantime, however, he had 
planned to wait before going to Sonora until Elizondo's 
expedition should have trixmiphed over the Indians. Not 
understanding the difi&culties of frontier warfare he expected 
victory would be quickly obtained, and he left Mexico City 
on April 9, 1768, intending to make his way to the frontier 
and taking with him a number of persons who were to settle 
there. Before going to Sonora he proposed to found a depart- 
ment at the port of San Bias and pay a visit to Baja Cali- 
fornia. These activities proved in fact to be preliminary 
to the great expeditions to Alta California of 1769, which 
merit separate treatment.' 

•The principal authority for the Spain {1766-1771) (Berkeley, 

material in this chapter is: California. 1016), in University 

Priestley, Herbert Ingram. Josi de of California.^ Publicationa in ^i«- 

Odlvez, viaUoT-general qf New iory^ v. V. 

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When G&Lvez set out from Mexico City on April 9, 1768, 
his immediate object was that of foimding the Department 
of San Bias. On January 11, 1768, Viceroy Croix (at 
Gdlvez's suggestion) had issued an instruction for the estab- 
lishment of a settlement at San Bias, stating that it was 
deemed indispensable, after Sonora and the rest of the fron- 
tier should have been pacified, to found a port for the ad- 
vantage of boats employed on similar expeditions or in com- 
merce with Sonora and also for the preservation and 
advancement of the Califomias. In other words, San Bias 
was to be the base of supplies in New Spain for the region of 
the proposed commandancy-general. It seems highly 
probable that Gilvez himself was already planning, as one 
phase of this project, an immediate occupation of Monterey 
in Alta California, based on the port of San Bias. Since 
this bears directly on the causes of the expeditions of 1769, 
the evidence is worth reviewing. The devious routes by 
which the visitador was accustomed to proceed to his real 
aims should be borne in mind in considering this matter. 

It is usually stated that the Spanish court at Madrid 
received reports about Russian aggressions in the Pacific 
northwest, and sent orders to meet them by the occupation 
of Alta California, wherefore the expeditions of 1769 were 
made. This view contains only a smattering of the truth. 
It is evident from GAlvez's correspondence of 1768 that he 
and Croix had discussed the advisability of an immediate 
expedition to Monterey, long before any word came from 
Spain about the Russian activities. In December 1767 
Gdlvez is reported by one of his secretaries to have been 


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ardently at work on plans for a department at San Bias and 
already to have charged a certain Manuel Rivero with the 
duty of establishing a port there, — ^all this a month before 
Croix^s instruction. The prominent place of Alta California 
in the plan for the new commandancy-general has already 
been alluded to, and one of the projects of that plan called 
for an immediate despatch of vessels to occupy and colonize 
Monterey. This is only one of many evidences of the di- 
rection of Gilvez's interest toward the northern i)ort; he 
had come to New Spain at a time when a number of works 
calling attention to the desires of other powers to gain a 
footing in the Califomias were being published in Europe, 
and the visitador seems to have been acquainted with this 
literature. On April 22, 1768, Gfflvez reached Guadalajara, 
remaining in that city imtil May 4. In referring to his stay 
in Guadalajara, the Audiencia said that he had spoken of 
his plans for exploring the Califomias. It was not until 
May 5, after he had left that city, that G&Lvez received the 
mail from Croix telling of Russian explorations in the 

The Spanish minister to Russia had written to the royal 
government in Madrid, late in 1767, that the Russian em- 
press was preparing expeditions for fresh attempts to estab- 
lish communications between eastern Siberia and the Pacific 
coasts of the Americas. On January 23, 1768, the Marqufe 

^G^vez's relations with the Aw' Gdlvez himself had been chosen to 

diencia of Guadalajara furnish an- execute them. The Audiencia did as 

other interesting instance of the requested, but one of the memb^s 

methods of this strange man. There- of that body, Ram6n Gonzales Ve- 

port of the Audiencia to the king, cerra, had been opposed to this ao- 

dated May IS, 1768, was niost lauda- tion. He accordingly wrote to the 

tory of the vieitador and his projects kins, reporting what had happened 

of government and conquest in the and stating that he had signed his 
northwest. Lookine underneath the own name to the document ofMay 18 
surface one finds the following illu- imder protest. There is no direct eli- 
minating facts bearing upon theprep- dence that G^vez had suggested the 
aration of this report. Immediately action of his secretary — the vieitador 
after Gdlvez^s own departure from was too crafty for that! — but it is of 
Guadalajara, one of his secretaries record that Gonzales was made to 
appeared before the Audiencia and feel Gdlvez's disapproval. He was 
asked that body to write to the king soon suspended from his position on 
approving all of Gdlvez's measures the charge that he had needlessly 
and especially congratulating the absented himself from meetings of 
royal government on the fact that the Audiencia, 

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de Grimaldi, the Spanish Minister of State, wrote to the 
viceroy about the rumors of Russian activities, saying that 
newe^ had been received that the Russians had actually 
made a landing in North America, though at what degree of 
latitude it was not known, and had had a battle with the 
Indians in which they had suffered a loss of three hundred 
Russian dead. After remarking that the Russians might be 
endeavoring to extend their commerce to those coasts, 
Grimaldi went on as follows: 

"The king has ordered me to inform Your Excellency of all that 
has just been set forth, so that you may make it known to the man 
appointed governor of California, giving him instructions about the 
vi^ance and care that he ought to exercise in order to observe 
such attempts as the Russians may make there, frustrating them 
if possible, and giving notice of everything promptly to Your Ex- 
ceUency, so that you may report it to His Majesty." 

This letter, it will be observed, did not order an expedition 
to Monterey, but it was sufficient to give an active man all 
the authority that he needed, especially if it is true that he 
had already determined to make such an expedition. Croix's 
letter of April 20 to Gdlvez is not at hand, but at a later date 
(in his instruction of 1771 to his successor) he had the follow- 
ing to say of this letter: 

'' I thought that an invasion would be made [by the Russians] 
by way of the famous port of Monterey . . . and transmitted the 
order of the court to the msHador^ bidding him to make an expedi- 
tion by sea toward the threatened port. The visitadoTy bethinking 
himself of the difficulties of a maritime expedition and being de- 
sirous of exploring the province, sent two expeditions, one by 
sea and the other by land." 

From this it appears that Croix was far from ordering the 
occupation of Alta California which Gdlvez in fact carried 
out. Perhaps because he himself intended to do very much 
more than the instructions called for, Gdlvez reserved his 
answer to Croix for more than two weeks. In the meantime 
he reached San Bias on May 13, and on the 16th called a 
junta to discuss the expeditions to Monterey. Not until May 
20 did he write to Croix of his plans. The letter follows: 

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''In fulfilment of His Majesty's order, communicated to you 
on January 23 by the Marqufis de Grimaldi, ponceming repeated 
attempts which the Russians have made to open commimication 
with North America, and in consequence also of what you com- 
mand in your letter of April 30 enclosing a copy of the above- 
mentioned order, and recalling to mind the many conversations 
and reflections which we have previously had concerning the 
supreme importance and utility of taking possession of the port 
of Monterey and establishing a presidio there, I am obeying your 
order to take such measures as I deem fitting for reaching that 
place by land or sea. As you leave to me discretion for the fulfil- 
ment of this order, it has seemed to me both fitting and necessary 
that I should inform you from here of the resolution which it was 
thought proper to take in this weighty matter." 

Thus cleverly did Gdlvez associate Croix with the enter- 
prise. Before Croix could have had time to reply to him the 
visitador embarked, on May 24, for Baja California. In any 
event the viceroy was heartily in favor of the project, and so 
too was the government in Madrid as soon as it was ap- 
prised of the matter. It remains to say that the Department 
of San Bias, from its very inception, served primarily as a 
supply depot for the Califomias, and its relations to Sonora 
were by comparison rather slight; doubtless G&tvez had in- 
tended from the first that it should turn out that way. The 
Russian emergency was merely an incident in the long 
chain of foreign aggressions, real or imaginary, which had for 
nearly two centuries been the principal and the continuing 
cause of Spanish frontier advance, and the reported en- 
croachments on this occasion were not more dangerous than 
those of other times. The true cause for the occupation of 
Alta California (which soon followed, in 1769) was the per- 
manent (not the immediate) foreign danger, together with the 
appearance of a man who, for all his faults, was endowed 
with the energy and administrative capacity that the enter- 
prise required. 

The story of G^vez's activities in Baja California may 
be quickly reviewed or passed over in silence. Leaving San 
Bias on May 24, 1768, he was driven back and forth by 
storms, and it was not until July 5, forty days later, that he 

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was able to set foot in the peninsula; thus again were the 
difficulties of the short voyage across the gulf demonstrated. 
For nearly ten months thereafter, he remained in Baja 
California, reorganizing the government and the missions and 
preparing the expeditions to San Diego and Monterey. He 
had expected to find vast stores of wealth in the peninsula, 
for he shared the general belief of the times that the Jesuits 
had tried to conceal its resources in gold, silver, and pearls. 
No doubt he soon disabused himself of this belief, for (now 
that the pearl-fields had failed to yield so richly as in the 
past) there was very little ready-made or easily acquired 
wealth to be had in Baja CaUfomia. Indeed, the settlements 
were in a wretched state. The military commissaries who 
succeeded the Jesuits had mismanaged the mission estates, 
epidemics had swept away hundreds of Indians, there was a 
revolt of the Indians in the south, and, all in all, there was a 
situation of dire economic distress. It is said that the total 
population of the peninsula had sunk to fewer than 8000 
souls. Nevertheless Gdlvez was not discouraged. If he said 
little, henceforth, about the wealth of Baja California, he 
many times emphasized the strategic importance of both 
that territory and Alta California. His experience must have 
confirmed him all the more in his original belief, however, 
that Sonora was the true centre from which all the lines of 
advance to the northwest should radiate. The peninsula 
was not, and could not be made to become, a suitable store- 
house for the advantage of Alta California. Indeed, G&Lvez 
had only visited Baja California, so he said at a later time, in 
order to occupy himself pending the advancement or the 
conclusion of the campaign in Sonora. 

As for the expeditions to Alta California, he threw himself 
into them with all possible vigor, drawing also upon the 
leading officials in Baja California to take part in them. 
Caspar de Portold, governor of the province, was slated for 
the command, and Father Junfpero Serra, who had only 
recently arrived to take over the former Jesuit missions, was 
appointed president of the new missions to be founded in 
Alta Califomia. Indeed, Father Serra was named without 

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any prior enquiry as to whether the post would be acceptable 
and without any chance to refuse. The whole plan met with 
his enthusiastic approval, however, though his superiors of 
the College of San Fernando vigorously opposed it, yielding 
only because they could not do otherwise. But, though 
Portold and Serra ably seconded the viaitador in his efforts, 
it is to G&lvez, who had conceived the idea of the expeditions 
in the first place, that the chief credit is due for organizing 
them and starting them on their way. 

Arrangements were made for two expeditions by land and 
two by sea. Boats for the latter were procured by taking over 
the San Carlos and the San Antonio (otherwise Principe) ^ 
which had been built to facilitate transport for the Sonora 
war. live-stock, provisions, and needed utensils were levied 
upon the missions of the peninsula; indeed, all that they could 
spare, and in some cases more than that, was taken. To 
increase the military forces orders were sent to Colonel 
Elizondo in Sonora bidding him detach a company of twenty- 
five Catalan soldiers for service in Alta California. In No- 
vember 1768 these men reached the peninsula, under the 
command of Lieutenant Pedro Fages, later to become one of 
the greatest of the Spanish governors of Alta California. 
The San Carlos reached La Paz in December, but it had been 
so badly beaten by storms that it was already in a leaky 
condition. It was necessary to unload and careen the boat 
and then to load it again. Gdlvez superintended these tasks 
in person, and often gave a hand in the actual labor of lading, 
thus greatly inspiriting the men. On January 9, 1769, the 
tiny little craft, for it was a ship of but two himdred tons 
burthen, at last set sail. In all there were sixty-two men 
aboard, including Vicente Vila (the conmiander), Fages 
and his Catalans, and the engineer and diarist Miguel 
Costans6. Among the others were two blacksmiths and a 
baker for the proposed settlements. Also a quantity of 
church ornaments, agricultural tools, provisions, and seeds 
were carried. Gdlvez on the Concepddn accompanied the 
San Carlos as far as Cape San Lucas. There he saw the Sofi 
Carlos double the cape and strike for the north* 

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G^vez now gave his attention to the San AnUmio. Upon 
its arrival at Cape San Lucas, on January 25, it was thought 
best to unload and careen it, just as had been done in the 
case of the San Carlos. Not until February 15 did the San 
Antonio get under way. In addition to crew and cargo, some 
blacksmiths and carpenters were taken along. Juan P£rez, 
a native of Majorca and a former master of the Manila 
galleon, was in command ; he was now to be, for several years, 
the[principal maritime figure in the annals of Alta Calif omia. 
The total number of those on board has not been re- 

Turning to the land expeditions, Gdlvez sent out a first 
detachment imder Captain Fernando de Rivera y Moncada, 
who had been in Baja California for more than a decade 
and was later to become a governor of the northern province. 
With him went twenty-five soldiers, three muleteers, and 
forty-two Christian Indians, who it was believed might 
prove useful both as interpreters and as assistants in con- 
verting the natives of the north, besides performing the 
drudgery of the expedition. Father Juan Crespf (a native 
of Majorca, intimate friend o^ Serra, and one of the more 
notable of the Franciscans in Alta California in ensuing 
years) was also with Rivera. Gathering nearly four himdred 
domestic animals from the missions as he went along, besides 
implements and provisions, Rivera made his way to Santa 
Maria de los Angeles, then the most northerly mission. 
Finding insufficient pasture for his animals he moved on to 
Velicatd, situated in 30'', about 150 miles due south of San 
Diego. From this point he started for Alta California on 
March 24. Meanwhile the second land expedition, under 
Govem(^r Portold, had departed from Loreto on March 9* 
As eventually made up, his party included Father Serra, 
Sergeant Jos^ Francisco de Ortega, nine or ten soldiers, two 
servants (of Portold and Serra), and forty-four Baja Cali- 
fomia natives. Serra made the journey imder difficulties, 
being troubled with an ulcer in his foot and leg, but he de- 
clined to be left behind. On May 14 they founded the mis- 
sion of San Fernando de Velicati, having reached that place 

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the same day. On the 15th Portold set out over Rivera's 
route to San Diego. 

One further expedition was sent, beyond the four origi- 
nally planned. This went out on the San Josij which had 
been built especially for voyages to the northwest coast. 
Nevertheless, like its predecessors, it had to be overhauled 
and repaired when it reached the peninsula in February. In 
May the San Josi carried the trisitador across to Sonora, 
whence it returned to Loreto and sailed for San Diego on 
June 16. According to one account the ship was never heard 
of again. According to another it was so badly damaged by 
storms that it returned to San Bias for repairs. At length it 
departed for the north from Cape San Lucas in May 1770. 
In either case the boat was lost with all on board; how many 
there were remains unknown. 

A volume of fascinating narrative might well be written 
of the experiences of the Argonauts of 1769. Here, un- 
fortunately, it is impossible to give way to this very natural 
desire. The San Antonio, though it had started more than 
a month later than the San Carlos, was the first to reach San 
Diego, dropping anchor at that port on April 11, after a 
voyage of ^ty-five days. All on board except the two friars 
were sick or disabled^ but no lives had been lost. Eighteen 
days later the San Carlos arrived, on April 29. For a voyage 
which a modem steamer would make in several days, the 
San Carlos had taken no fewer than 110 days. Everybody 
on board was sicky and twenty-four of the crew (all but two 
of them) had died of the scurvy. 

On May 14, Rivera's party got in. He had required fifty- 
one days and a march of some four hundred miles to come 
from Velicatd. Some of the Indians had died, and a num- 
ber of others had deserted. Occasionally the natives along 
the route had shown a disposition to resist or annoy the 
party, but the noise of gunpowder provided a quick remedy 
for this source of trouble. The lack of water and of feed for 
the animals was a much more serious difficulty. Portold's 
march almost duplicated Rivera's, but on the whole was 
easier, since he was not burdened with the care of so many 

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domestic animals. On the 1st of July his party reached San 
Diego, having been on the road forty-eight days from 
Velicatd. PortolA says some of the Indians had died, but 
no other Uves were lost. Only twelve of his forty-four 
Indians reached San Diego, however. The rest had died or 

Thus were the expeditions reunited at San Diego, but 
many of the individuals who had started from Baja Cali- 
fornia were no longer included. Counting the men on the 
ill-fated San Josiy perhaps something fewer than three 
himdred men had made up the original expeditions^ about 
half of whom reached Alta California. A fourth of all who 
started had lost their lives. Such was the toll to the perils of 
land and sea. 

The situation at San Diego was one which might have dis- 
couraged a less stout-hearted soldier than Governor Portold. 
Many were sick; indeed, of those who had come by sea 
hardly any were well. This might have been faced with 
more equanimity were it not that provisions were running 
low. Nevertheless, as one historian has put it: 

"The governor at once applied himself to preparations for con- 
tinuing the journey to Monterey; for discouraging as the situa- 
tion was at the San Diego rendezvous, he did not by any means 
justify the abandonment of the enterprise at that point. PortoI& 
was a true soldier in spirit, as well as in training. In his view noth- 
ing excused him from the performance of duty, so long as there was 
possibility of discharging it." 

It was therefore decided that the San Antonio should return 
for suppUes and to report the success thus far attained. Only 
eight sailors of the twenty-eight who had made the north- 
ward voyage on that ship were able to go to sea. With this 
scant crew P6rez left for the south on July 9. It was also 
arranged that the San Carlos should sail for Monterey as 
soon as there should be enough sailors in health to man it. 
Portold himself was to go overland through an utterly un- 
known country to Monterey. On July 14 he started, accom- 
panied by Costans6, Fages and six of his Catalan soldiers 
(who alone of the twenty-five were able to march), Captain 

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Rivera and Sergeant Ortega with twentynsix soldiers, Fathers 
Crespl and G6mez, seven muleteers, fifteen Baja California 
Indians, and two servants (of Portold and Rivera), or a com- 
pany of sixty-three in all. 

The account of their long and terrible march (and indeed 
of all the experiences of the expeditions) is well set forth in a 
brief narrative by Portold. This was written several years 
later, in September 1773, by the hand of Juan Manuel de 
Viniegra, a former secretary of GAlvez, who set it down as a 
statement of Portold in a conversation with an imnamed 
friend, presumably Viniegra: 

"While I was passing, my friend, through the missions estab- 
lished by the Jesuits to that one on the frontier named Santa 
Maria, we experienced no hardships worth mentioning, neither 
I nor my companions; for, in addition to the fact that we took 
from the presidio vegetables and delicacies, in exchange for the 
lamentations of the settlers, we were fortunate enough to be able 
to sleep under roofs, and make the march with some comfort. 

"In consideration of the great deserts into which I was going, 
and of the Russian himger with which I foresaw we were going to 
contend, I was obliged to seize everything I saw as I passed through 
those poor missions, leaving them, to my keen regret, as scantily 
provided for as I knew the three southern ones had been left in 
consequence of the orders given by the visitador for despatching 
the packet boats San Carlos and Son Antonio to the port of 

"Thus equipped, I began my march to the bay named San Diego, 
in company with thirty soldiers of the presidio and many Indian 
auxiliaries; but, friend, in a few days we saw with extreme regret 
that our food was gone, with no source of supplies miless we should 
tiun back. As a result, some of the Indians died, and the rest of 
them deserted from natural necessity. 

"So I was left alone with the cuirassiers; without stopping the 
march, we went on, lamenting, now to the mountains to kill geese 
and rabbits, now to the beach for clams and small fish, and then 
in search of water, which we did not find for three or four days, 
the animals going twice that long without drinking, as we our- 
selves did sometimes. 

"Overcoming these and other innumerable hardships, natural 
results of such unhappy fortune, we arrived at the port of San 
Diego, the spot at which the expeditionaries by land and sea were 
to meet in accordance with the instructions of the visUador-general 
to recount to one another the gre^t events which had happened to 

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us and the discoveries incident to our journeys. The members of 
the sea expedition limited their account to the statement that 
the San Carlos had been 110 days and her consort 59 days, in sail- 
ing 150 leagues, because the headwinds from the north and north- 
west are lords of those coasts throughout the year. Being attacked 
by scurvy, thirty-four persons died on the two vessels, and they 
saw nothing on their voyage save some islands so bare and terrible 
that they could not look at them without horror. 

''In the face of these unfavorable reports, and of the similar 
one which we gave to them, I called a coimcil of the officers, and 
it was resolved by them that the packet boat San Antonio should 
return to the port of San Bias for provisions and men. Then, 
leaving the San Carlos in San Diego with two men and the mis- 
sionary, the sick being placed under a hut of poles which I had 
had erected, I gathered the small portion of fcK)d which had not 
been spoiled in the ships, and went on by land to Monterey with 
that small company of persons, or rather say skeletons, who had 
been spared by scurvy, himger, and thirst. 

"We reached Monterey after struggling thirty-eight days 
against the greatest hardships and difficulties; for, aside from the 
fact that there was in all that ungracious country (through which 
we passed after leaving the frontier) no object to greet either the 
hand or the eye save rocks, brushwood, and rugged mountains 
covered with snow, we were also without food and did not know 
where we were. For, although the signs whereby we were to recog- 
nize the port were the same as those set down by General Sebas- 
ti^ Vizcaino in his log, the fact is that, without being able to 
guess the reason, we were all under hallucination, and no one dared 
assert openly that the port was indeed Monterey. 

"In this confusion and distress, friend, not under compulsion 
from the Russians, but from keen hunger, which was wearing us 
out, we decided to return to San Diego, for the purpose of recuper- 
ating our strength by means of the provisions which we judged 
would soon arrive there on the San Anionio. In order that we 
might not die meanwhile, I ordered that at the end of each day's 
march, one of the weak old mules which carried our baggage and 
ourselves, should be killed. The flesh we roasted or half fri^ in a 
fire made in a hole in the ground. 

"The mule being thus prepared, without a grain of salt or other 
seasoning — for we had none — we shut our eyes and fell to on that 
scaly mule (what misery!) like hungry lions. We ate twelve in as 
many days, obtaining from them perforce all our sustenance, all 
our appetite, all our delectation. 

"At last we entered San Diego, smelling frightfully of mules. 
The reverend father president said to me, as he welcomed me. 

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TTou come from Rome without having seen the pope/ alluding 
to the fact that we had not found the port of Monterey. We re- 
mained at San Diego nine months waiting for the San AntaniOf 
subsisting for that long period on geese and the fish and other food 
which the Indians brought us in exchange for clothing. Some of 
the soldiers were left with barely enough clothing to cover their 
backs, having given up the rest to avoid perishing from want. 
We planted a small quantity of com in the best soil, but, although 
it grew well, the birds ate the best of it while it was yet soft, leav- 
ing iis disappointed and bereft of the hope we had cherii^ed of 
eating the grain which our hands had sown. 

"After nine months our troubles were somewhat lessened by the 
arrival of the packet boat San Antonio; for, although nearly the 
entire crew had died of scurvy, we got very particulw* consolation 
out of the com, flour, and rice which it brought. The captain of the 
vessel represented to me the impossibility of continuing his voy- 
age, on account of the loss of men and the bad condition of lus 
vessel, but he nevertheless set sail with provisions for Monterey, 
leaving at San Diego what was necessary for the missionary and 
the eight soldiers who remained as an escort. 

"With the sixteen remaining ftisiliers and presidial soldiers, 
I began the second journey to the sought-for Monterey. On this 
occasion, determining without mistake that we had found the port 
which Sebasti&n Vizcaino drew in detail in his log, we set up our 
camp, the San Antonio dropping anchor eight days later. I was 
not ignorant of the fact that the king of Spain had for centuries 
been owner and legitimate lord of those lands, but, friend, as arti- 
cle eight of the instructions of the visitador^general gave me to 
understand to the contrary, I repeated the formalities of taking 
legal possession which were therein ordered. In fulfilment of 
other orders, I proceeded to erect a fort to occupy and defend the 
port from the atrocities of the Russians, who were about to invade 
us, as was to be inferred from the terms of the instructions. 

"Indeed, owing to the indefatigable zeal of the engineer, Don 
Miguel Costans6, we completed within thirty days the royal for- 
tress, which was built of poles and earth. It was equipped with 
some small cannon, and manned with twenty men, including the 
missionary, for whom we built a house as well, out of the same 
material as the fort. The mission received the glorious name of our 
august sovereign, and the two other missions situated at moderate 
distances were called San Fernando and San Buenaventura. 

"Being desirous of complying with all the orders of the visitador- 
general, I went also to reconnoiter the port of San Francisco, sixty 
leagues distant. I did not linger there, nor did I see anything 
worthy of description there, save only a labyrinth of bays and 

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channels which inundate the territory. Having returned to Mon- 
terey, I soon embarked for San Bias, on the coast of New Spain, 
where, happily, I shortly arrived, for on the return voyage one 
travels as fast as Sancho Panza would have liked. 

"You must be weary, friend, of listening to all the plagues 
which I encoimtered on my journey, but believe me also when I 
say that the unhappy Spaniards whom I left in those new settle- 
ments are at present endiuing the same discomforts. 

"I reported them all to the viceroy and the visitador-general 
in official and confidential letters; without reserve I explamed to 
them that it was impossible to send aid to Monterey by sea, and 
still more so by land, imless it was proposed to sacrifice thousands 
of men and huge sums of money. Proofs of this fact are in the 
story of the packet boat San Joaiy which, having left San Bias 
three years ago to carry us provisions, has not yet appeared, nor 
has any news been had of her, doubtless because all of her crew 
were attacked with scurvy, and no one was left to steer the ship 
away from disaster. 

"I make end to my conversation, finally, by replying to the 
questions which you asked at the beginning. The natives of Cali- 
fornia are so gentle that we never had to defend ourselves. The 
mines of gold and silver and other rich products foretold to us in 
advance advices we never saw nor found, as our first care was to 
hunt for meat to keep from starving. Even if Monterey is at last 
fairly well fortified and California should through any extravagant 
desire be coveted by the Russians, there are still many other ports 
which, being undefended by troops or fortifications, could not 
oppose them, and where they may freely establish themselves if 
they desire. 

Farewell, friend. 

"Your affectionate 


It only remains to comment upon and elaborate certain 
portions of this story, passing over some of the minor details 
in which it varied a little from the facts. Portold and his 
men reached the mouth of the Salinas River on the Bay of 
Monterey on September 30, 1769. They were in some doubt 
as to whether they might already have passed the wonderful 
port described by Vizcaino, and, besides, provisions were 
scarce and seventeen men were unfit for active duty. Never- 
theless, said Costans6, 

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^ ''all the officers voted unanimously that the journey be oon« 
tinued, as this was the only course that remained, for we hoped to 
find — ^through the grace of God — ^the much desired port of Mon- 
terey, and in it the packet San Joai, which might relieve our needs; 
and, if God willed that in the search for Monterey we should all 
perish, we would have performed our duty towards God and man, 
cooperating to the death for the success of the undertaking upon 
which we had been sent/' 

Here surely was no weakness. It was at this time, therefore, 
and not later (as one might have inferred from PortoU's 
narrative) that the journey up the San Francisco peninsula 
was made. 

On October 31 they saw the Gulf of Farallones to the 
northwest, and noting some white cliffs and an opening 
between them (into what is in fact Bolinas Bay) believed 
that they were looking upon Drake's Bay, called by them the 
"Bay of San Francisco." The next day Sergeant Ortega, 
who all along had commanded the scouts in the vanguard, 
was sent out with orders to reach Drake's Bay if possible. 
Almost certainly Ortega and his men on this day, November 
1, 1769, reached the Golden Gate and saw part of the great 
Bay of San Francisco, as it was eventually called, within. 
Later, Ortega was sent up the eastern shore of the bay, and 
may have reached Alameda Creek. In the light of past 
dreams of Anidn it is at first thought surprising that the 
discovery was received with so little enthusiasm; indeed, it 
occasioned bitter disappointment. Two things must be 
remembered, however. The men were sick and starving, 
and they had been sent out, not to find a Strait of Anidn, but 
the port of Monterey. This clearly was not Monterey; 
indeed, it might be Drake's Bay, in which case, as all now 
agreed, they had passed the port discovered by Vizcaino. 
They were dispirited, too, because the hope on which they 
had sustained themselves — ^that they would find the San Jos4 
— was now gone, for there were no signs of that vessel. 
PortoU was particularly unimpressed. After Ortega and 
his men had made known the vast reaches of the great bay, 
Pcrtold v/r.s able to write in his diary that "th^ had found 

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nothing/' And to the soldierly PortoU this was the literal 
truth, for they had seen "nothing" of the thing which he 
had been ordered to iBnd, the port of Monterey, 

On November 11, therefore, the return march was begun. 
More than ten weeks later, on January 24, 1770, they 
approached San Diego, wondering if they would find any- 
thiiag left of the settlement there. That day they staggered 
into camp, rejoiced that their comrades were still alive. 
Some had died of the scurvy, however, and not one of them 
had escaped having the disease. Furthermore, the Indians 
had been troublesome, and on August 15 had rushed the 
camp. It had been necessary to kill several of them. Worst 
of all the San Jos6 had not put in an appearance at all, and 
the San Antonio had not yet returned. The situation as 
regards supplies therefore was serious. 

Many a man in Portol&'s place would have felt justified 
in abandoning Alta California at this point. But this 
gallant officer thought only of his orders; he had been re- 
quired to occupy the northern territory, and meant to hold 
it until the last moment compatible with the safety of his 
forces. It was resolved to send Rivera back to the peninsula 
for supplies "in order to make it possible to hold this port 
longer,'' accordiag to PortoU. This he did, said Costans6, 
writing at a later time, "lest he should incur such discredit" 
as would result from his abandonment of San Diego. The 
situation was little less than desperate, however, and the 
fortunate appearance of the San Antonio on March 23 may 
very well have averted an early abandonment.* 

* A legend has sprupg up, havinflr One further fact should be noted, 
its origin in Palou's Vida (published Rivera was sent to Baja California 
in 1787) that PortoU would have for supplies so that PortoU and his 
abandoned Alta Calif omia but for the men might continue to "hold this 
pleadines of Serra. Eventually, it is port [San Diego] longer." Rivera de- 
said, rortoli set a date, beyond parted on February 10. It had taken 
which he would not remain. The day FortoU f orty-eieht days merely to 
before this ultimate date the San An" come with a light party from YeU- 
tanio was sighted, though it did not c&iA to San Diego, ilow was Rivera 
get into port imtil four days later, to go far to the south of Velicati&, 
This story is unsupported by a shred ssitner supplies, and return to San 
of contemporary evidence The facts Diego with a neavy mule-train in 

: contemporary evidence The facts Diego with a neavy 
are reviewed in Chapman, TAtf/ound- thirty-eight days! It seems likely 
ing of Spcamh California, 98-101. that JPalou's story was an unmerited 

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The arrival of the San Antonio changed the face of matters. 
Portold now decided to go north again in search of Monterey, 
The San Antonio was despatched to the north on April 16, 
and Portold started by land the next day. The governor was 
the first to arrive. On May 24 he came to the rendezvous 
agreed upon in Monterey Bay, satisfied now that this, after 
all, was the so-called good port discovered by Vizcaino. 
P6rez came in, a week later, with the San Antonio. On Jime 
3, 1770, the presidio and missi on of Monterey were formally 
inaugurated. Portold's task was now done. He had been 
ordered to return to New Spain as soon as a beginning of the 
settlements had been made, turning over the command to 
Fages. Accordingly, on July 9 Portold, accompanied by 
Costans6, sailed with P^rez on the San Antonio, landing at 
San Bias on the 1st of August. Shortly afterward he was 
promoted to a lieutenant-colonelcy, and in 1776 was made 
colonel and governor of Puebla, New Spain. Taking pos- 
session of his government in 1777, he remained at that post 
until 1784, when he was succeeded by Jacobo de Ugarte and 
ordered to return to Spain. Then in his sixty-first year, 
Portold passes off the scene, so far as present records go. 

P^rez and Costans6 had hastened to Mexico City from 
San Bias with Portold's despatches. Arriving there on 
August 10, 1770, they brought news of the success of G^vez's 
enterprise. For a year and a half, little if anything had been 
heard from it, and the reports which now came in must have 
been particularly agreeable, in the light of Gdlvez's unsatis- 
factory record (as matters had turned out) in Sonora. Bells 
were rung, flags displayed, and a special high mass was 
celebrated. Alta California had been occupied — and the 
fame of Gdlvez was secure! • 

slander on PortoU, told with a view thorities and the already cited works 
to the exaltation of Serra. As for of Priestlev and Chapman, the trans- 
Rivera, he ^ot back to San Diego in lations of original narratives and 
Julj with eighty mule-loads of pro- diaries in the first two volumes of the 
visions and a small herd of cattle. PMicatians of the Academy of Paci- 
Under the circumstances this was fie Coast History are worthy of spe- 
making good time — ^all that could cial mention among the materials 
have been expected. for this chapter. 
'In addition to the standard au- 

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The strategic centre in Gdlvez's plans, even for the settle- 
ments in Alta California, was the province of Sonora, near 
the frontiers of which the future capital of the com- 
mandancy-general was designed to be placed. That province 
had been reduced to sad straits as a result of nearly twenty 
years of continuous war. The population had seriously 
dechned. For example, Pimeria Alta, which had had 1315 
civilized inhabitants in 1763, fell away to 178 in 1769. Even 
southern Sonora had been affected. Prior to the Pima 
revolt of 1751 there had been fifty-seven settled ranches in 
the Ostimuri district; two decades later there were only four. 
In the rest of Sonora over forty mining settlements had been 
deserted, and but two out of a prior number of 125 ranches 
still had white inhabitants. The presence of the Jesuits in 
the province had not served to check disorder, after the sup- 
pression of the Pima revolt. Indeed, the constant bickerings 
between them and the other white elements only increased 
the evil of the times, especially since the missionaries had 
now lost all control over the Indians. It was therefore an 
advantage to the province when they were supplanted by 
the Franciscans of the colleges of Quer6taro and Jalisco. 
The expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767 took place without 
warning in Sonora as elsewhere, with the result that it was 
not imtil 1768 that their successors arrived. The Quer6taran 
friars took over Pimeria, and the JaUscans received the rest 
of Sonora, while Sinaloa was put in charge of the secular 
clergy. Henceforth the religious were to exercise only 
spiritual jurisdiction. The friars were not satisfied with this 
arrangement, but at any rate, whether due to the change or 


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not, there was a cessation, for a while, of revolts by Chris- 
tianized Indians. It remained to deal with the hostile tribes 
of the unconverted and to introduce the settlers who should 
maintain permanent peace. 

G^lvez had entertained the highest hopes of the outcome 
of Elizondo's campaign. That officer and his army of more 
than a thousand men were expected in a short time to pacify 
Sonora and then to pass on to Nueva Vizcaya to deal with 
the Apaches. In other words a successful military campaign 
was to be the indispensable preliminary to the inauguration 
of GAlvez's project of the commandancy-general. Julidn de 
Arriaga, the enlightened Secretary of the Indies in Spain,* 
and the king were among those who were not sanguine of 
the success of GAlvez's plan, and the event proved that they 
were right. Elizondo reached Guaymas on March 10, 1768, 
and soon afterward made an attack on the Indian enemies 
(Seris and Pimas) in that vicinity. The latter fled to the 
mountain fastnesses of the Cerro Prieto, where it was im- 
possible to pursue them, though a ten days' search was made. 
In June the Spaniards attacked the Cerro Prieto from three 
sides, but the Indians eluded them. The same thing hap- 
pened when another attempt was made in October, and then 
again in November. Royal orders of November and Decem- 
ber called for a cessation of these expensive campaigns and 
for the use of conciliatory methods, but Croix and Gilvez 
were too deeply committed to draw back, and foimd 
an excuse to allow the war to go on. The Spaniards were 
nothing if not persistent, for they assaulted the Cerro Prieto 
for the fifth time, in February, but without result. After a 
year's campaign virtually nothing had been accomplished. 

As late as February 1769, while he was still in Baja Cali- 
fornia, Gdlvez was giving orders for a war of extermination 
against the rebellious Indians, but by the time of his arrival 
in Sonora, in May, he had learned of the royal orders and 

^ Juliin de Arriaga, Secretary of due his achievements. Spain's great 
the Indies from 1750 or 1751 to 1776, eighteenth century spurt in north- 
is' one of the figures in the back- westward conauest came during his 
ground of California history who has rule, and the decline followed imme- 
yet to receive the attention that is diately upon his death in 1776. 

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decided to try the effects of an offer of amnesty. A period 
of forty days from May 8 was given in which the Indians 
might surrender, and it was intimated that they would 
suffer dire consequences after that date if they neglected the 
opportunity. The forty days passed, but few Indians ac- 
cepted the edict. Then ten days more were added, and later 
another twenty-five, but the Indians remained hostile. 

G^vez had meanwhile been attending, with more or 
less success, to some of the minor projects in preparation for 
the commandancy-general. What he might have done if he 
had retained his health can only be conjectured; it is more 
than likely that he would have foimd a way to overcome 
obstacles, just as he had in sending out the Alta California 
expeditions, and would have brought about an advance to 
the Gila and Colorado rivers and the establishment of com- 
munications with Monterey. If that is so, it is well for the 
ultimate possessor of CaMomia (the United States) that 
G^lvez fell desperately ill. Early in June he began to develop 
fever and chills, and he was not wholly well again imtU after 
he had left the frontier. Before he was at his worst, however, 
he directed several other attacks against the Indians, one of 
them, in October, being another fruitless assault on the 
Cerro Prieto. This was Gilvez's last effort as a general in 
the field, for he now became incapacitated through ill health. 

G^vez's first serious illness occurred in August. Believing 
that he was about to die he wrote to Croix on the 22d, 
reiterating his feelings of personal friendship for the viceroy 
and commending his subordinate officers to the latter's 
attention. Yet, the greater part of his letter concerned the 
expeditions to Alta California; it is at least interesting that 
what G^lvez expected to be his dying request was a plea to 
Croix to protect the new establishments of San Diego and 
Monterey. He soon recovered, but periodically broke down, 
and at last in the middle of October his mind gave way alto- 
gether. From that time until the end of the following March 
he was rarely in sound mental condition. His faithful 
secretaries (Argtlello, Armona, Azanza, Belefia, and 
Viniegra) tried to conceal the nature of his disease, but it 

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was noised abroad in spite of them. Temporarily, too, the 
affairs of Sonora received a set-back, for nobody but G&tvez 
had authority to execute certain decisions, and he was no 
longer able to do so. In this emergency three of the secre- 
taries (Argtiello, Azanza, and Viniegra) felt it incumbent on 
them to inform the viceroy that G&Lvez had met with 
"civil death." There can be no doubt that they were acting 
for the best interests of the service in doing this and that 
they were personally devoted to the tdsitadar. Thus, in con- 
temporary letters to one another there are the most sincere 
expressions of sorrow over the condition of their "dearly 
beloved father and illustrious chief" who seemed to have 
lost "that which in other times had caused wonder in all who 
had consulted him" or, in the somewhat plainer words of 
Armona, his "beautiful reason." Nevertheless, when the 
visitddor was restored to health he turned vindictively upon 
his former devoted friends and companions (to whose care 
he undoubtedly owed his life) because they had reported his 
illness to the viceroy, who had in turn mentioned it in his 
correspondence with the court. The three secretaries were 
deprived of their employment and thrown into prison, where 
they were visited by another of the visitador^a secretaries, 
who demanded that they retract their statements about 
GAlvez's loss of reason. For several years they were made 
thus unjustly to suffer. It is perhaps poetic justice that 
Gilvez's imgenerous act should have rebounded upon him- 
self, for in their endeavors to clear themselves the secretaries 
furnished indisputable proofs of Gdlvez's malady. One of 
the secretaries, Azanza, made his formal entry as viceroy, 
thirty years later, in the very town where G41vez had im- 
prisoned him. 

While the trisitador was bereft of reason he exhibited a 
most extraordinary megalomania. This appears from the 
account of Viniegra, who suppUed it in response to commands 
of the higher authorities, 

"saying nothing," as he put it, "about those incidents that may- 
offend the ears and that are not needed to prove the nature of his 

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Referring to G^vez's first burst of insanity, in October 1769, 
Viniegra says: 

''On this day with all clearness he displayed the solemn up- 
setting of his imderstandingy calling to Sergeant-Major Don Ma* 
tlas de Armona at two o'clock in the morning to tell him that 
Don Francisco de Asfs [Saint Francis] had just brought him some 
papers by which he had learned of the ignorance of the officers 
in the war that was being waged against Indian enemies. As for 
the Indians he was going to destroy them in three days, for 
merely by bringing six hundred apes from Guatemala, dressing 
them as soldiers, and making them run aroimd the Cerro Prieto he 
would easily cause the enemies within a tlistance of many leagues 
to flee. After this ridiculous sally he came out of his room and 
went to the barracks where there were nearly a thousand men. 
He shook hands with them and asked them to be his comrades 
and friends, inviting them to share in the treasure of the expedi- 
tion, and in fact he gave a verbal order at the treasury to give 
every soldier as much money as he should ask for. And this was 
done in some cases, when it was foimd necessary to suspend this 
measure immediately, for the house of the treasurer had trans- 
formed itself into that of a grand jubilee (jvbileo plenisimo). We 
went to dinner, and in the space of two hours he said two thousand 
mad things in the presence of many officers of rank and their 
dependents. Among other things he said that if anyone should 
make comment upon his measures, he would put his head at his 
feet and bum it on a pyre, without excepting Colonel Don Do- 
mingo Elizondo, who was present, from this preposterous design. 
He asserted that our lord the king had already ordered the removal 
from the Ouid de forasteros (Guide for strangers) [the entry about] 
the Supreme Coimcil of the Cfimara (Chamber) of the Inches, put- 
ting tMs clause in the place of all that respectable body: 'Council 
and Cdmara of the Indies — the visUador-general of New Spain.' " 

On another occasion, says Viniegra: 

''He called himself and held himself to be the long of Prussia, 
Charles XII of Sweden, the Protector of the House of Bourbon, 
a councillor of state, deputy of the Admiral of Spain, an immortal, 
and, [though it seem] impossible, Saint Joseph, the Venerable 
Palafox, and, what is more than all, the Eternal Father, and an 
infinity of other persons, with whose character at every moment 
he invested himself, wishing to perform the fimctions correspond- 
ing to them, even to celebrating the Final Judgment by means of 
the Divine Word." 

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Among other things that Viniegra details, we find G^vez 
making a caste (mestizo) governor of Sonora and investing 
him with the staff of office; he made Teodoro de Croix 
(nephew of the Marques de Croix) viceroy of New Spain, 
and Armona commandant-general of the new commandancy ; 
he wrote reams of orders and decrees, according to the 
solicitations of anybody who asked for them; he ordered 
heads cut off, including that of the viceroy; he planned a 
canal from Mexico City to Guaymas (!) for ships of deep 
draught; he gave decorations, titles of nobility, bishoprics, 
and even empires, with a lavidi hand; he set fire to his room 
and burned his clothing, and then appeared naked in the 
window to preach to the Indians, assuring them that he was 
the Emperor Montezmna and that the Christian faith con- 
tained only two articles, — ^belief in Our Lady of Guadalupe 
and in Montezuma; and he wrote numerous papers, one of 
which he signed in his own hand 

"Jos6 de GfiJvez, insane for this unhappy world; pray God for 
him that he may be happy in the next.'* 

It is small wonder that the projects of the visUador were 
not greatly furthered by his own presence in Sonora. Indeed, 
many things were delayed or left undone, for, sane or crazy, 
Gdlvez was still visitador and deputy of the viceroy, and his 
signed documents were a difficult factor for his subordinates 
to get around. Toward the end of March, Gdlvez was able 
to leave Sonora for Mexico, He went by way of Chihuahua, 
which he reached on March 30, 1770, and got to Mexico 
City late in May or early in June, 

Meanwhile, events were occurring on the frontier which 
in fact tended toward doing away with the obstacles to an 
advance to the Gila and Colorado and beyond them to 
Monterey. One of these was the inspection of the frontier 
presidios by the Marqu^ de Rubf. The Spanish authorities 
had frequently in the past shown that they understood the 
necessity of dealing with the frontier as a whole (as witness 
the already-cited memorial of the Marqu^ de Altamira in 
1751), for warfare in one province inevitably involved the 

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others. The Secretary of the Indies, Julidn de Aniaga, seems 
to have reached this conclusion when he sent Rubf to the 
frontier to inspect the entire system of the presidios. Rubf 
was commissioned in 1765, and took up his work in January 
1766. In the next two years he traversed the frontier 
from Texas to Sonora, even visiting the New Mexico 
salient. In his report of April 10, 1768, he recommended 
the forming of a line of seventeen presidios from Sonora to 
Texas. At the same time seven other presidios and two 
provincial companies then in existence were to be dropped. 
This became a governmental program during the next eight 
years, arousing great hopes for a forthcoming pacification of 
the frontier. Though these hopes were destined to be vain, 
they encouraged the authorities to take action looking 
toward the long-delayed northwestward conquests. Fur- 
thermore, much real work was accomplished after 1771 to 
establish the system recommended by Rubf. The number 
of presidios on the line was cut down to fifteen, but certain 
others off the line (including two in southern Sonora, 
although it was intended to dispense with them as soon as 
possible) were to be retained, at least temi)orarily. By an 
appointment of December 4, 1772, Hugo Oconor became 
commandant-inspector of the frontier provinces to establish 
the line. Subject only to the viceroy he ruled there during 
the next four years, and did creditable work in reducing the 
iUs from which those provinces suffered. 

Following G^vez's incapacity from illness in October 
1769, Elizondo again took charge of the campaign in Sonora. 
He at once instituted methods that were to serve the purpose 
to much better effect than the general attacks had done. 
Dividing his troops into small detachments he caused them 
to wage an incessant guerrilla warfare against the Indians, 
so that they had no time to search for food or gain sufficient 
rest. By gifts and cajolery, too, other groups were per- 
suaded to lay down their arms. All had submitted by May 
1771. At last the war, for the time being, was over. The 
original plan for a descent upon Nueva Vizcaya was aban- 
doned, and in the fall of 1771 Elizondo and most of his men 

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returned to Mexico. One obstacle to the advance to the 
Gila and Colorado now seemed to have been diminished if 
not removed. 

Coincident with the termination of the military campaign 
an event occurred which served better than bullets to make 
for peace. While pursuing a band of Indians in 1771 a de- 
tachment of Elizondo's army discovered the rich gold 
placers of Cieneguilla, near Altar. Vast quantities of gold 
were found near the surface. There was an immediate rush 
to the scene, and within a few months of the discovery over 
two thousand men had reached there. Unlike the Arizonac 
mine of other days Cieneguilla continued to yield richly for 
a decade, and other mines in the neighborhood were worked 
to the end of the century and later. At about the same 
time mines were discovered in other parts of Sonora. Huerta 
on the Yaqui River was particularly rich; between 1772 and 
1776 it was the most flourishing place in the province. In- 
deed, the revenues of Cieneguilla and Huerta at this time 
were sufficient between them to support the entire province. 
Even the Indian-infested Pimerfa district had been able to 
yield a profit of 77,277 peaos^ in 1770, before the discovery 
of the Cieneguilla mines. The troubles of Sonora as regards 
Indian wars, especially on the part of the Apaches, were not 
at an end, but from this time forth there was a sufficiently 
great civilized population to ward off actual dangers, if not 
the fear of them. 

Meanwhile, important action had been taken directly 
affecting the discovery of a route from Sonora to Monterey. 
The Franciscans were eager to make a good showing in 
Pimerfa Alta, to which fchey had succeeded in 1768 following 
the expulsion of the Jesuits. Therefore, there was a renewal 
of northward explorations and of projects for converting 
the Indians of the Gila and even those as far away as Moqui. 
Preeminent among the Quer^taran friars of Pimerfa Alta was 
a man whose achievements should be written large in the his- 

* The value of the peso in cash was much (as measured by present-day 
60 cents. The purchasing power, standards) at the very IcAst. 
however, was surely douDle that 

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tory of exploration, Father Francisco Garc^. Although the 
principal object in his journeys of exploration was the saving 
of souls, for in him apostolic zeal burned with an ardor com- 
parable with that of his great predecessors in the Franciscan 
order, his results were of vast importance from the stand- 
point of plans for frontier advance. Garcfe took up his 
ministry at San Javier del Bac in June 1768. In August, he 
started on the first of his toiu^ of exploration, going through 
Papaguerfa (in the extreme northwest of Sonora) to the Gila. 
In 1769 he seems to have made an unimportant tour as 
chaplain. In 1770 he went forth again, between October 19 
and November 2, from Bac to and along the Gila. On this 
journey he traveled among the Pimas of the Gila and the 
Opas, both of whom gave him a friendly reception. He re- 
ported that the Pimas were particularly worthy and were 
clamorous for the missionaries that he had promised when 
he visited them in 1768. They were far from being a 
savage people, had good fields of wheat and maize, and knew 
of God. The Opas were a much ruder, if equally kindly 
people. This exploration added fresh evidence of the accessi- 
bility of Alta California from Sonora, for the Pimas were 
much excited over accounts of people seen in the west, the 
previous year; these they described in such a way that 
Garc^s realized they were referring to the soldiers of the 
1769 expeditions to Alta California. 

A much more important journey was made by Garc6s from 
August to October 1771, and the information that he gained 
had a great influence on the opinion of the junta which 
eventually recommended Anza's first expedition. This 
journey, too, more than any other, helped to determine the 
route of the subsequent expedition. The details of the diary 
as to Garc6s' route might well have been very confusing to 
the junta, due to the fact that Garc6s mistook the Colorado 
for the Gila. In reality he went through Papaguerfa to the 
Gila, reaching it just above its junction with the Colorado, 
whither he was desirous of going; he went on past the junc- 
tion of the rivers, without realizing he had done so, and then 
traveled west and south along the Colorado, thinking that 

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he was on the Gila and would in that way reach the junction ; 
he crossed the Colorado, believing that he was crossing the 
Gila, and came upon a vast lagoon, which he took to be the 
Colorado; he returned to the Colorado and ascended almost 
to the junction again, without realizing how near he was to 
the place that he sought; thence he returned through 
Papaguerfa. During his wanderings he visited and named 
many of the villages west of the Colorado, and reached the 
very canyon by which Anza's expedition was to make its 
way through the moimtains. He had also journeyed west of 
the Gila Moimtains in Papaguerfa, being the first known ex- 
plorer to take that route, along which he later guided 

Of the obstacles impeding an advance in 1752 all but the 
Apaches and the disorders of the eastern provinces seemed 
now to have been cleared away. The Apaches, indeed, 
threatened the best of the routes to the northwest, — ^from 
Tubac to the Gila and down that river to the Colorado, — 
but it was hoped that the new line of presidios would soon 
take care of them. There were minor uprisings in Sonora, 
too, after the end of Elizondo's campaign, but though at 
times in the next decade the situation seemed very bad, it 
never again got out of hand. If a desire for northwestward 
conquest still remained and if capable leaders could be foimd, 
this seemed to be the moment when the much-planned 
forward movement should take place. The desire for an ad- 
vance had long existed, and now that Alta California had 
been occupied in a precarious and imsubstantial way, it was 
imperative that an overland route should be foimd. 
Fortunately, too, the right sort of leaders were at hand. 
One of them was the already-mentioned pioneer explorer, 
Father Garcfe. Another was the captain of the presidio of 
Tubac, Juan Bautista de Anza, under whose conmiand the 
route to Monterey was to be discovered and utilized. In the 
backgroimd there was a third figure, greater than either, 
greater even than the visitador — and certainly a more noble 
character. This was the man who in 1771 succeeded Croix as 

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viceroy, Antonio Maria BucareU y Urstia. In Bucareli the 
struggling province in the far northwest was to find the 
greatest hero who has ever appeared in the field of Califor- 
nia history.* 

* This chapter is based principally on the already cited works of Priestley 
and Chapman. 

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The most vital period in the history of Alta California was 
that which embraced the years 1773 to 1776, when Bucareli, 
the great viceroy, was taking those measures which put the 
struggling colonies of the north permanently on their feet. 
Next in importance after these came the periods from 1769 
to 1773 and 1776 to 1 781 . It is the purpose of this chapter to 
deal with the earliest of these three periods, or more partic- 
ularly with events of the years 1770 to 1773, not so much in 
order to chronicle local happenings as to provide a setting 
for the activities of the viceroy, who between 1773 and 1776 
was to take the steps which saved the enterprise begim by 

As already stated, Pedro Fages succeeded to the authority 
of Portold in Alta California, following the latter's de- 
parture in July 1770. Strictly speaking, neither one had had 
a right to be called governor while the expeditions were in 
Alta California, for Don Caspar had been succeeded in 1769 
by Matlas de Armona, so that he could give his undivided 
attention to the conquest in the north. On Armona's de- 
parture from Baja California in 1770, Felipe Barry (arriving 
in 1771) became governor, and he was succeeded in 1774 by 
Felipe de Neve, who took possession in 1775. These men 
had little more influence in the north, however, than for 
example the governors of Sonora. It would be absurd to 
include Armona, Barry, and Neve (prior to his actual rule 
in the new establishments) in the list of Alta Califomia 
governors and to omit PortolA (1769-1770), Fages (1770- 
1774), and Rivera (1774-1777). To all intents and purposes 


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the three last-named were governors, reporting directly to 
the viceroy and depending on their theoretical superior at 
Loreto in only the most shadowy way. They are therefore 
referred to as governors in the present work. In 1777 the 
titular ruler of the two Califomias took up his residence in 

Some difficulties arose in Alta California at the outset, due 
to the fact that Fages' powers were not precisely defined. 
Father Serra, president of the missioils, insisted that Fages 
had nothing to do with the activities of the friars, save for a 
restricted authority over the five or six soldiers constituting 
the guard of each mission; in other words, he contended that 
Fages was in the position of a presidial commander and 
nothing more. Fages, on the other hand, held that he had 
succeeded to the powers which had actually been exercised 
by PortoU and in particular that he should have something 
to say about the time and place for founding new missions; 
he was responsible for the defence and the provisioning of 
the missions, and as his means were limited felt that any 
step which affected his duties in these respects must have his 
sanction. As neither Fages nor Serra was of a yielding dis- 
position, there soon developed a lack of harmony between 
them which by 1772 assumed the proportions of a break. A 
further difficulty arose, though less serious than the other, as 
a result of Rivera's jealousy of Fages. When Rivera re- 
turned from the peninsula in July 1770, he was not pleased 
to hear that PortoU had turned over his authority to Fages 
instead of to him. Though he had been ordered to march to 
Monterey, he remained at San Diego. Early in 1772 he re- 
turned to New Spain. Thus the struggling province had to 
suffer from a want of whole-hearted cooperation. The diffi- 
culty was felt less in Alta California, where both Fages and 
Serra were sincerely doing the best they could, than in 
Mexico City, where decisions had to be made on the basis of 
confficting reports. Meanwhile, Fages had his way in Alta 

A much more vital problem was that of the defence of the 
province, which was inextricably involved with its spiritual 

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conquest. Throughout a territory some four hundred miles or 
more in extent, from San Diego to Monterey, there were in 
1770 only forty-three soldiers. Three years later this num- 
ber had increased to sixty-one. Over against this insignifi- 
cant force there was an incalculable nmnber of Indians, 
reaching far into the thousands. Moreover they were not 
at all kindly-disposed to the Spanish occupation; indeed, 
thousands of them were distinctly opposed to it, and only 
submitted because of their wholesome respect for Spanish 
weapons. There were several conflicts in these early years. 
Some took place between Velicatd and San Diego, on the 
route up the peninsula, and in 1770 there had been an affair 
at San Diego. Another fight occurred at San Gabriel in 
1771, shortly after the foimding of a mission there. The im- 
mediate cause of the last-named outbreak illustrates the 
difficulties arising from the presence of the soldiery, even 
though nothing could have been accomplished without them. 
The soldiers, who were rough, illiterate half-breeds, none of 
whom had brought a wife to Alta California, aimed too 
frequently at an undue familiarity with Indian women. 
Occasionally they would pretend to go himting, but it was 
not the beasts of the field but rather the native women they 
sought. These sometimes they would lasso as the prelimin- 
ary step in a not too gentle wooing. Some such thing took 
place at San Gabriel, where the wife of the chieftain suffered. 
The angry husband shot an arrow at the guilty soldier, who 
stopped it with his shield. In the fracas which followed, 
the Indian chief was killed. His head was cut off by the 
Spaniards and set up on a pole as a warning to the Indians 
of the neighborhood. Despite the failure of justice repre- 
sented by this event, it is said that the chiefs own son was 
the first to present himself for baptism at the mission. 

In few of the missionary conquests attempted by the 
Spaniards in the New World were they for so long a time im- 
successful in winning converts as in Alta California. The 
first year passed at San Diego without a single baptism; 
indeed, there is no clear record of any before 1771. The mis- 
sion of San Carlos Borromeo at Monterey, which was dedi- 

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cated on June 3, 1770, witnessed its first baptism on Decem- 
ber 26. A year later the mission was moved a few miles 
south to Carmelo, but not for several years did it meet with 
much success. San Antonio and San Gabriel, founded in 
1771, and San Luis Obispo, dating from 1772, encountered 
almost identical experiences. The Indians in the vicinity of 
the northern missions were less hostile than those of the 
south, — ^indeed, they were at times friendly, — but the 
Spaniards had very little in the way of material gifts in these 
early years with which to attract them. As for spiritual 
arguments these made no impression whatsoever. 

The Father Superior of the CJoUege of San Fernando in 
Mexico, Rafael Verger, correctly represented the situation 
in various of his memorials of 1771. The missions of Alta 
Califomia hardly merited the name of mission, he held. He 
had objected to their being founded by the missionaries of 
his college, but had been compelled to assent because 
G&lvez desired it. He freely predicted that the missions 
would fail. Gdlvez would get the credit for having founded 
them, but the blame for their failure would be cast upon the 
Femandine friars. Verger was somewhat nettled at the 
enthusiasm of Father Serra, expressing himself to the effect 
that it was ^'necessary to moderate somewhat his ardent 
zeal." Late in the year 1771 Verger began at length to be- 
lieve that success in Alta Califomia was possible, but 
pointed out that it was not safe to coimt too strongly on the 
docility of the Indians, for a sudden revolt could bring 
everything down in ruin. 

At the end of 1773, in the fifth year of the occupation, the 
state of the missions was still unsatisfactory, as will appear 
from the accompanying table. These slender results in such 
a populous field seem even more insignificant when analyzed. 





San Diego .... 




San Gabriel . . . 



San Luis Obiapo . 



San Antonio . . . 




San Carlos . . . . 




Totals 491 462 62 

, Google 

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Most of the converts thus far were children; so it was not 
possible to count on the Indian men to protect and further 
the work of the missionaries. The sixty-two marriages 
probably represented the total number of adult converts, 
which meant that an average of five or six a year at a mission 
had been obtained, though the three southern missions in 
fact had few or no adult neophytes. The situation was well 
illustrated by the case of the mission of San Luis Obispo. 
The Indians there were very numerous and were friendly to 
the Spaniards, but not a single adult convert had been 
obtained. The friars ascribed this to the abundance of 
food which the natives were able to procure, wherefore the 
Spaniards found it difficult to attract them to the mission. 
The principal causes of the backwardness of the missions 
were the same as those which affected the whole province, — 
lack of sufficient provisions, goods and effects, domestic 
animals, soldiers, and, above aU, lack of an adequate 
supply route from New Spain. 

The Spaniards in Alta California occupied a position 
resembling that of the Robinson Crusoe of literature. They 
were set down in a land that was rich in potentialities, but 
lacking in the immediate requirements of civilized Uf e. The 
problem of success, however, was distinctly an immediate 
matter, for the least upset in supplying the province might 
result in imdoing all that had been accomplished, despite the 
brilliant prospects of a somewhat distant future. Naturally 
the matter of food-supply was vital to success. The dire 
straits of the expeditionaries at San Diego in 1769-1 770 have 
already been chronicled. A similar situation developed in 
1772. The supply-ships were late in coming, and when they 
did reach San Diego it was foimd impossible to get them to 
Monterey, — ^no doubt because there were not enough 
sailors left alive or free of the scurvy to man them. Mean- 
while, the missionaries, in their desire to attract the Indians, 
had been more liberal with gifts of food than the stock of 
supplies warranted. As a result, famine appeared for the 
second time in the history of the province. Serious di- 
saster was averted by Governor Fages, who engaged in the 

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most celebrated bear hunt in the history of Alta California. 
For several days he hunted in the neighborhood of what is 
now San Luis Obispo, and supplied the northern settlements 
with the meat which kept them alive until a pack-train could 
be sent up from San Diego. This incident was influential in 
the selection of San Luis Obispo as a site for the mission 
which was estabUshed there shortly afterward in that same 
year; San Luis Obispo had proved its ability to provide food 
in an emergency, and the Indians were grateful for the kill- 
ing of the bears. 

The question arises: Why didn't the Spaniards raise 
crops and thus avert the danger of starvation? The answer 
is that they did the best they could. Such seed as they could 
get, they planted, but it was a rare chance when they got 
back anything more than their seed. They were not ac- 
quainted with farming, and knew nothing of the actual 
possibilities or needs of the soil in this new land. At the end 
of 1773 San Gabriel was the only place in the province which 
even so much as gave promise of ah eventual agricultural 
wealth. The growth of rich crops was one of those factors 
which inevitably belonged to the future. 

Li the matter of manufactured articles Alta California 
was of course altogether dependent on outside help for every- 
thing from a plough or a smithy's forge down to a piece of 
ribbon or a nail. Indeed, for many things that were all but 
vital to its existence the province had to look beyond Mexico 
to Spain. For example, Serra reported in 1773 that the only 
forge and only smith in Alta California were at Monterey, 
and in any event there was very little iron to work with. He 
also asked for two carpenters, one for the north and the other 
for the south. 

The need for domestic animals was twofold: to serve as 
food and as beasts of burden. About five hxmdred had 
been taken, from Baja California at the outset. A nimiber 
had died on the march north from the peninsula, but enough 
remained to furnish Alta California with an element which 
it needed in order to survive and also to give some hope for 
an eventual increase! The situation in these early years wa9 

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at all times critical, however. This was due not only to the 
insufficient numbers of the animals, but also to the lack of 
animals for breeding purposes. Except for the milk that they 
gave, the animals were little used for food, as they were too 
precious to be killed, but the colonists were often almost 
wholly dependent upon milk to keep themselves alive. 
Nevertheless, the need for pack-animals received great em- 
phasis. To mention only one important use of this character, 
a great many animals were required to carry a year's sup- 
plies from San Diego or Monterey to the three inland mis- 
sions. Minor difficulties encoimtered were the theft of 
horses and cattle by Spanish deserters and the fondness of 
the unconverted Indians for meat, an appetite which they 
were wont to indulge at the expense of the Spanish flocks. 
By the close of the year 1773 (what with cows, sheep, goats, 
pigs, asses, mares, colts, horses, and mules) there were only 
616 animals at the five missions, and probably not very 
many besides in the keeping of the presidial garrisons of 
San Diego and Monterey. The situation was one which 
demanded remedy. 

The soldiers, on account of their bad conduct with the 
native women, were in a measure a handicap to mission work, 
but none more insistently than the friars themselves recog- 
nized the necessity for their presence. A still more important 
element for the future of the province was, if it could be 
obtained, that of permanent settlers. The total Spanish 
population in 1773 was made up of sixty-one soldiers, eleven 
friars, and an occasional mechanic temporarily in the 
province in the service of the government. There were no 
white laborers, no doctors, and, most important of all, no 
women. Six soldiers had married native women, but the rest 
were without wives or else had left them in New Spain. 
Furthermore, the soldiers longed to escape this irksome 
service in a land which was so totally lacking in the things 
they enjoyed, and they frequently deserted. Invariably, how- 
ever, they returned to camp, for death awaited them away 
from the supplies which came each year to San Diego and 
Monterey. The founding of missions was delayed because 

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there were not soldiers enough to guard them. Thus, San 
Buenaventura (at present-day Ventura), which the Span- 
iards had hoped to establish among the first, was postponed 
until 1782. Similarly, San Francisco and Santa Clara were 
delayed until 1776 and 1777. 

The foimding of the two last-named missions was most 
insistently desired by the friars, the governor, and the 
viceroy during these years, but Fages deemed it unwise to 
attempt it with the scant forces under his conmiand. In 
November 1770, on his own initiative, he had tried to reach 
the old "Port of San Francisco" (Drake's Bay) behind 
Point Reyes by going around the great estuary, as he termed 
it, of what is today the Bay of San Francisco. He may have 
reached a point in the Berkeley hills just north of the present 
university campus. Since his scouts reported that the 
estuary seemed to extend for an indefinite distance, Fages 
turned back because of his 

"anxiety ... for the camp, the cultivation of the land, and 
the raising of stock." 

In March 1772 he made a more ambitious attempt, accom- 
panied by Father Crespf , twelve soldiers, a muleteer, and an 
Indian. He had orders to explore the "Port of San Fran- 
cisco" and establish a mission there, so as to secure that port 
from foreign occupation. Going up the eastern shore of the 
bay region Fages and his men came at length to the San 
Joaquin River, and also saw the Sacramento from a point of 
vantage. Having reached the vicinity of Antioch, they felt 
obliged to give up their appointed task, for they lacked boats 
with which to cross the rivers and did not have enough sup- 
plies for such a long journey as now appeared necessary. 
So they cut through the mountains by way of the San 
Ramon, Amador, and Sunol valleys, and found their way 
back to Monterey. No further attempt was made for some 
time to reach the port which Drake and Rodriguez Cermenho 
had visited, but attention gradually directed itself toward 
the infinitely superior "estuary" of San Francisco, which 
soon was to appropriate an exclusive right to the name 

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formerly enjoyed by the more northerly "port." In any 
event the mission had to wait. 

The backward state of the Alta California settlements 
would not have been so serious if there had been an adequate 
supply route to the province. The direct sea route from San 
Bias continued to be as difficult as before. Thus the San 
Antonio in 1771 required sixty-eight days for the voyage to 
San Diego, and there were few aboard ^p who escaped the 
scurvy. The problems in connection with the supply-ships 
will be taken up more fully in a later chapter. For the 
present it may suffice to say that the ships were too small and 
frail and the perils of the sea too great for families of colon- 
ists or herds of domestic animals to be sent out in them. 
Indeed, such a plan seems never so much as to have been con- 
sidered. The short voyage across the stormy gulf to Baja 
California was only slightly less difficult. Writing in 
August 1771 Father Verger said that five boats had already 
been lost that year in attempting to reach the peninsula. 
A sixth left San Bias on February 2, and did not reach Loreto 
until August 23, having meanwhile been blown nearly to 

Baja California was, if anything, less able than ever to 
supply the provisions needed in Alta California. The 
peninsula had not recovered from the material setback it 
suffered at the time the Jesuits were expelled, and, besides, 
it had already been stripped of more than it could well afford, 
to make a beginning of the settlements in Alta California. 
Moreover, aside from the problem of the voyage across the 
gulf, Baja California was not even suitable as a route to San 
Diego and Monterey. This was most clearly set forth by 
Father Serra in 1773. On being informed that a suggestion 
had been made to do away with the supply-ships and make 
use of mule-trains to carry provisions and effects up the 
peninsula to Alta California, he pointed out that it would 
take 1500 mules and a hundred muleteers, and it would be 
impossible for such a number of animals to find food and 
drink on the desolate route to San Diego. There were not 
enough mules in both Califomias for this project, even if it 

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had been possible; for three years attempts had been made to 
supply the grave deficiency in this type of animal by shipping 
a number from the mainland provinces of New Spain, but 
these endeavors had met with no success. 

The situation in Alta California, therefore, was bad, with 
hardly a single relieving feature. As late as February 1773 
Bucareli wrote to Arriaga that he might expect an early 
abandonment of the province. This eventuality most cer- 
tainly would have developed if it had not been for the 
activities of the viceroy himself; indeed, it was just at the 
moment when his pessimism was at its greatest that hia 
measures for the northern province began to have effect. 
Obviously the only escape for Alta CaUfomia lay in the dis- 
covery of a better route, over which the elements of perman- 
ence (families of settlers and domestic animals) might come. 
Those acquainted with the problems of Alta California began 
more and more to point this out. Father Verger said that 
the only alternative to sending agricultural and pastoral 
laborers to Alta California would be to transport provisions 
from Sonora, and he recommended that steps be taken to 
increase the number of pack-animals in the new establish- 
ments so that they might be utilized for that purpose. Fur- 
thermore, he consented very easily to a surrender of the Baja 
California mission field to the Dominicans, provided the 
Franciscans of San Fernando should be accorded the right to 
develop a route from Sonora. Serra, Palou, and others held 
virtually the same views, though some, Serra included, for a 
time favored the idea of a route from New Mexico. The 
engineer Costans6, who had been in Alta California with 
Portold, explained more clearly than anybody else the 
various factors in Alta Califomia's problem of a supply 
route, alluding to the insufficiency of the direct sea route 
and the route up the peninsula, and pointing out that the 
settlers and supplies which Alta CaUfomia needed might 
well be sent from Sonora. Much the same views were ex- 
pressed by Jos6 de Areche, fiscal of the Audiencia of Mexico. 
The project of a supply route from Sonora appealed to 
him, also, because it might lessen the burden of expense 

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which the government was undergoing on behalf of Alta 

The matter of expense was indeed one which attracted the 
attention of the royal government. From January 1768 to 
the end of 1773 over 570,000 pesos had been expended on 
behalf of the Californias and San Bias, of which Alta Cali- 
fornia had accounted for more than 250,000. The salt- 
mines of San Bias earned 25,000 pesos a year, which was the 
sole return on the government's investment; thus there had 
been a net expenditure of 75,000 pesos a year. But this was 
not all. In addition there was the cost of the goods sent 
from Mexico City, the contributions of the Pious Fund, and 
the application of the resources confiscated from the Jesuit 
missions of the peninsula, the figures for which are not at 
hand. This manifests the strategic importance attached by 
Spain to her possession of the Californias, for that country 
was not accustomed to spend money on unprofitable pro- 
jects. On this very account, however, the government would 
have welcomed a means of escape from at least a part of its 
heavy expenditures. Therefore the higher officials of the 
viceroyalty turned hopefully to the idea of a new route to 
save Alta California from foreign occupation. 

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The danger of encroachments by foreign powers has been 
given prominent notice in preceding chapters as a principal 
cause of the Spanish northwestward advance since the 
adoption, late in the sixteenth century, of the policy of the 
"aggressive defensive." In the period from 1769 to 1781, 
when the future of the Calif omias was in fact being decided, 
and especially in the vital years 1773-1776, this factor, under 
the guiding hand of the great viceroy Bucareli, was the real 
mainspring of Spanish action, though from the standpoint of 
the permanent foreign danger, rather than from that of a 
particular emergency. 

It is especially interesting to approach the subject of 
foreign conquests from different points of view, so as to bring 
out the importance of this factor the more clearly by pro- 
viding a better perspective. The whole situation is graph- 
ically represented in the chart on the following page. 
As has already been pointed out, the Russians and the 
English were by no means the only foreign peoples who 
threatened Spain's domination of the Pacific coast. The 
Indians and the Chinese had their opportunity before Spain 
appeared upon the scene. The Japanese were at one time a 
potential peril, and the Portuguese and Dutch voyagers 
occasionally gave Spain concern. The French for many 
years were the most dangerous enemy of all, but with their 
disappearance from North America in 1763, as a result of 
their defeat in the Seven Years' War, they were no longer a 
menace. The people of the United States were eventually 


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to become the most powerful outstanding element, but their 
chance did not appear until the nineteenth century. In the 
time of BucareU there were only two peoples whom Spain 
had seriously to consider. These were the Russians and 
the English. 

In a review of Spanish foreign policy as a whole during the 
reign of Charles III (1759-1788), and particularly in those 

1. Spanish view of foreign 

aggressions in the Pa- 
cific northwest when 
considered in relation 
to the general for- 
eign policy of Spain . 

2. Spanish view of such 

aggressions when 
looking directly at 
them, without rela- 
tion to their place in 
Spain's general for- 
eign policy • • . . 




3. Actual danger to Spain 
of foreign aggres- 
sions in the Pacific 
northwest .... 

years which were of most interest from the point of view of 
California history, it will be found that Spain was primarily 
concerned over the possibilities of a war with England. 
Russia, though a dangerous opponent in the Pacific, gave 
Spain hardly any cause for worry in Europe. There were 
troubles with Portugal and Morocco, but their importance 
lay in the relation which England bore to the situation, 
especially in the case of Portugal, whose aggressive activi- 

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ties in South America received English backing until 1776, 
when the American Revolution produced a diversion in 
favor of Spain. To oppose England, the so-called Family 
Compact between the Bourbon crowns of France and Spain 
was brought into being. In 1762, therefore, Spain entered 
the war which for several years France had been waging 
against England. Having gone down in defeat in 1763, the 
Bourbon powers thereafter endeavored to strengthen them- 
selves for a renewal of the combat, which, it was generally 
agreed, would inevitably eventuate. In 1770-1771 and 
several times between 1773 and the close of 1776 Spain was 
ready to fight, but France each time drew back. Late in 
1776, however, a change in Spain's attitude began to be 
perceptible which became marked after 1776. This was 
due primarily, it would seem, to the American Revolution, 
which engendered a belief that Spain's participation in the 
war against England would be fatal, whatever the out- 
come. Victory, which would also mean independence for 
England's colonies, would result in the appearance of a dan- 
gerous neighbor in America and in the eventual loss, perhaps, 
of Spain's colonial empire. Defeat would subject Spain to a 
like fate at the hands of England. Spain therefore hesitated 
to enter the war, though in 1779 she did so. 

These were the principal ideas in the diplomatic history of 
the period. As affecting the Americas the danger point in a 
war with England was the West Indies and the neighboring 
coasts of the mainland. Whatever anxiety there was for 
Pacific ports concerned South America, and after 1773 even 
that region does not seem to have been important enough to 
have found a prominent place in diplomatic correspondence. 
As for foreign aggressions in the Pacific northwest they were 
then regarded as of such comparatively slight importance 
that they have not attracted the attention of even the most 
voluminous writers on the history of Spain for that period. 
Indeed, the danger of a war with England inevitably 
lessened Spain's fears concerning the Califomias, for 
England's forces could be coimted upon to concentrate in the 
Atlantic for any serious attack. Thus it may be said that 

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Russian aggressions in the Pacific northwest occupied a 
place of no importance in the general scheme of Spanish 
foreign policy, — Whence the blank in the chart, — and English 
aggressions were more important, if at all, only because 
England was regarded as a consistent opponent in all 
quarters of the globe. In other words, Spanish activities in 
the Califomias were on virtually an independent footing; 
they depended on Spain's surmises concerning foreign en- 
croachments in the north Pacific itself, without reference 
(or at most only very slightly related) to the state of affairs 
in Europe. 

Before dealing (in succeeding chapters) with Bucareli's 
measures against the possibility of foreign conquests in the 
Califomias, it seems worth while to trace the actual progress 
of the Russians and English in their endeavors to reach the 
Pacific coast, in order to estimate what the danger really 

The Russian approach was largely in the hands of 
Cossacks, the underlying causes being their yearning for new 
homes where they might enjoy personal freedom and the 
commercial stimulus of the fur trade. The first step was 
taken in the reign of Ivan IV (1533-1584), when the outlaw 
Yermak led a band of Cossacks across the Ural Moimtains 
in 1578, and conquered a Tartar kingdom on the Ob River. 
Thenceforth, the Cossacks made rapid strides across the con- 
tinent. Ten men could conquer a kingdom, — ^whether due 
to the superiority of their weapons or to other causes does not 
matter here. Tobolsk, Tomsk, Yenesseisk, Irkutsk, Yakutsk, 
and finally Okhotsk on the Pacific successively became cen- 
tres of their activities and supply-stations for the next point 
to the east. In fifty years they had advanced to Yakutsk, 
over half way, and eleven more years sufficed to reach 
Okhotsk, where an establishment was made in 1639. From 
Yakutsk they went southward up the Lena River to Lake 
Baikal, where silver mines were found, but here their rush 
was checked, the Manchu Tartars being too powerful for 
them. In 1646 they entered the land of the Chukchis in the 
extreme northeastern part of Asia, and were rewarded by rich 

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finds of mammoth ivory. The Chukchis, however, were Dot 
pleasant neighbors, and were able to maintain their inde- 
pendence of Russia to the close of the eighteenth century. By 
1706 Kamchatka, the last Siberian land to be taken, had 
been overrun. 

Arrived at the Pacific the conquerors wondered what lay 
beyond. There were evidences of a great land not far to 
the east: strange trees drifted ashore; the swell of the ocean 
was not great; and the Chukchis told stories of a rich eastern 
continent, — and well may it have seemed rich to them, when 
the comparatively agreeable west coast of Alaska is con- 
trasted with the bleak and stormy Siberian shore. The 
Russian government became interested in the ''American 
Siberia'' as early as 1710, and attempts were made to reach 
it by way of the Arctic Ocean along the north coast of Siberia, 
and surveys were made of the Eurile Islands. This, it may 
be noted, was dining the reign of Peter the Great (1682- 
1725). Peter also planned expeditions which were to pro- 
ceed from Kamchatka to see whether America and Asia 
joined and to make discoveries along Pacific shores from 
Japan to the American continent. It fell to the lot of Vitus 
Bering, a Dane, to execute the major part of his commands 
and to the reigns of his successors to see them carried out. 

The Bering party had first to make the overland journey 
across Siberia, which it started to do in 1725. Arrived at the 
Pacific, Bering left Okhotsk in 1727, and in the following year 
sailed through Bering Strait. He then retiu*ned to Saint 
Petersburg (Petrograd), where he recommended further 
voyages to discover trade routes to America and Japan and 
to explore the northern coast of Siberia. Plans were made 
on a large scale, and the expeditions were authorized in 1734, 
but it was six years before they got under way. Bering com- 
manded one ship, and Alexei Chirikof the other, but the two 
at length became separated. On July 15, 1741, Chirikof dis- 
covered the American coast just above 55*. He then sailed 
northwest and west, passed the Aleutian Islands, and after 
much suflfering reached Kamchatka in October 1741. 
Chirikof made another voyage in 1742, but did not reach 

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America. Bering, meanwhile, had sighted the American 
mainland above SS"" on July 16, 1741. The return voyage 
was one of terrible hardship. The voyagers were obliged to 
winter on Bering Island, where their commander died, and 
the survivors did not get back to Kamchatka until August 
1742. Incidentally, they brought back some furs of the sea- 
otter, and this it was which proved the impulse for a fresh 
series of Russian voyages. 

Between 1743 and 1767 a number of voyages by private 
individuals were made as far as the Aleutian Islands in 
search of furs. The year 1764 marked the beginning of a 
new period of imperial interest, when plans were made 
which resulted in the Krenitzin and Levashef expedition. 
Secret instructions were given, but the object seems to have 
been to verify the reports already received from the fur- 
traders and to obtain as much further information as pos- 
rible. The Krenitzin-Levashef voyage took place during the 
years 1766-1769. The expeditionaries encoimtered great 
hardships, and got no farther than the Aleutian Islands, not 
reaching the mainland. Levashef at length got back to 
Saint Petersburg in 1771. Special notice should be taken of 
this voyage as the principal one under imperial direction in 
the period of most interest here. This expedition may have 
been the foundation for the exaggerated reports from Saint 
Petersburg which were transmitted to Bucareli and influ- 
enced his course of action. At about the same time a number 
of books were published concerning Russian activities in the 
Pacific. Private expeditions continued, however, and it is 
impossible to say how much they entered into the rumors 
heard by the Spanish ambassadors. These voyages seem to 
have reached no farther than the Aleutian Islands. Not 
until 1783 did the Russians make a direct attempt to extend 
their fur-trading operations to the Alaska mainland, for the 
sea-otter was disappearing from the Aleutian Islands. An 
expedition was made under Potap Zaikof , but it was a failure. 
In the same year Grigor Shelikof organized a company to 
make a fur-trading settlement, and this was established in 
1784 on the Island of Kadiak, the first Russian settlement in 

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North America. Fifteen years later, in 1799, Sitka was 
founded on the Alaska mainland, and by 1812 Russian 
settlement was carried as far south as the Farallone Islands, 
just out from the Golden Gate. Clearly Spain had cause to 
fear the Russian approach 

English approaches to the Pacific coast were along a 
nimiber of lines, but may be reduced roughly to two: from 
the Atlantic coast westward, in most part overland, but in 
some degree by sea, as represented by the attempts to find 
the Northwest Passage; the direct approach by sea, in the 
Pacific itself around South America, or eastward from south- 
em Asia, and even across the Isthmus of Panamd. The 
former was the earUer and more formidable movement, but 
the latter was first to arrive and the one which in fact gave 
more trouble to Spain down to the close of the eighteenth 

EngUsh entry of the Pacific by way of the Isthmus of 
Panama passed through two principal phases. The first 
came in the latter half of the sixteenth century during the 
reign of Elizabeth, when English sailors plundered Spanish 
towns and ships, although their countries were nominally at 
peace. Drake and Hawkins are the typical names. The 
second phase came in the seventeenth century, when the men 
engaged in it tended to evolve from a shadowy British 
allegiance into unqualified pirates. Sir Henry Morgan is the 
outstanding figure of this period. Just at the close of the 
century, also, came the unsuccessful attempt to fomid a 
Scotch colony at Darien. This marks the end of English 
activity along this line of approach to the Pacific. 

Another line of advance to which little space need be given, 
because it did not in fact get near the Americas, is the 
British advance around Africa to southern Asia. This may 
be said to have begun with the chartering of the British 
East Indian Company in 1600, the English government 
granting to that company rights of trade from the Cape of 
Good Hope to the Strait of Magellan. A voyage to the East 
Indies was made in the very next year, and in little more than 
a decade the company had already established a post in 

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India. As early as 1637 English ships had appeared on the 
coast of China, and for the next century and a half they car- 
ried on an intermittent trade there. Spain had little to fear 
from England in this period from the direction of the East 
Indies, because of the English conflicts in India with the 
Portuguese, Dutch, and French, especially with the last- 
named. Once the English overcame this opposition, how- 
ever, they loomed up as a danger to the Spanish colonies. 
The capture of Manila in 1762 by an English expedition from 
India was a significant indication of the reality of this danger. 
The Croix-Gdlvez plan of January 1768 referred to the possi- 
biUty of English and Dutch voyages from the East Indies to 
the Californias. Not \mtil the last fifteen years of the 
eighteenth century was this fear realized, but then numerous 
English ships made the voyage from China to Nootka and 
the coasts of the far northwest. 

The pioneer of English voyagers around South America to 
the Pacific coast was Francis Drake, who made a brief stay 
in Alta California in 1679. His voyage showed how weak 
was Spain's control of the Pacific, and it was never forgotten 
by the Spaniards, who likewise realized how much they had 
to fear from the presence of an enemy's ship. A fresh lesson 
was not long in coming. In 1587-1688 Thomas Cavendish 
repeated Drake's voyage, capturing a rich Manila galleon 
near Cape San Lucas in 1588. The seventeenth century was 
the age of buccaneers, whether virtual or real, and some of 
them seem to have rounded South America. One expedition, 
with a semblance of governmental authority, left Virginia in 
1683, turned South America, and joining with buccaneers 
who had crossed the Isthmus of Panamd engaged in opera^ 
tions against the Spaniards in the years 1684-1686. Cook^ 
Eaton, Davis, Harris, Swan, Wafer, Cowley, Townley, 
Dampier, and the Frenchman Grogniet were among th« 
leaders of this enterprise. Swan and Townley got as fat 
north as Mazatldn. 

The first four decades of the eighteenth century wer6 
marked by English voyages in which commercial objects 
were most largely to the fore, the promoters getting clear*' 

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ance papers from the government. Once in the Pacific, 
these voyagers acted much as had their predecessors the 
buccaneers, plimdering the Spaniards. The voyages were 
different in that the government required records to be kept, 
many of which were published, and in the general endeavor 
to advance knowledge about Pacific coasts, men of science 
often accompanjdng the expeditions. The first of this 
series of voyages was headed by Dampier, who left England 
in 1699 with a fleet of five ships. The expedition sub- 
sequently split up into four separate voyages, owing to the 
inability of different officers and men to agree with Dampier. 
Dampier got as far north as the coast of New Spain in 1704- 
1705 before purstiing his voyage aroimd the world. Clii)- 
perton and Funnel got back to England by a similar voyage. 
The expedition had been a financial failure, but some Bristol 
merchants were persuaded to make another venture. The 
new expedition set sail in 1708 imder the command of 
Woodes Rogers. Three years later it got back to England 
with an immense profit, largely the result of having cap- 
tured the Manila galleon off Cape San Lucas in 1709. After 
this encounter Woodes Rogers took the usual route around 
the world. Many companies now sprang up, but they were 
unable to equal the success of Woodes Rogers. The Shel- 
vocke-Clipperton voyages along the coast of New Spain in 
1721 were the most noteworthy. The English voyages, even 
when unprofitable to their backers, cost the Spaniards 
enormous losses, both in property taken or destroyed and 
in precautionary measures. They also increased English 
knowledge of the Pacific and its shores. Spain's sense of 
danger may well have been enhanced by the vast literature 
about these voyages and the popular interest in them in 

A new era began with the outbreak of war between Eng- 
land and Spain in 1739. The departure was marked by the 
fitting out of an expedition at government expense, a formal 
naval enterprise, imder the command of George Anson. 
Anson took the customary route around the world, in the 
years 1740-1744, in the course of which he cruised the west* 

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em shores of New Spain. Failing to encounter the Manila 
galleon he crossed to the Philippine Islands and took one 
there. Although he did not msJ^e a profit and lost most of 
his men, he had caused an immense expense and a great loss 
to Spain. Furthermore, among the papers taken in the cap- 
tured galleon were those which revealed the Spanish secrets 
of the Pacific. There were sailing directions for the South 
American coast and the trans-Pacific routes, with charts 
showing islands, shoals, landmarks, harbors, and the like. 
The Pacific was no longer a closed sea. 

After the Seven Years' War a new type of voyage began. 
The semi-piratical voyages of the past were no longer in 
accord with public morals, nor was there the excuse of war. 
Voyages for scientific objects and discovery began therefore 
to be sent out, with instructions not to interfere with the 
ships or territory of European peoples with whom England 
was at peace. The impetus came from France, who having 
lost her colonies by the peace of 1763 was eager to replace 
them by new discoveries. The English quickly followed the 
French lead by the voyage of Biron, 1764-1766, and Wallis 
and Carteret, 1766-1769. These voyagers went aroimd the 
world by way of South America and the south Pacific. 

Then came the most important voyage of all, and espe- 
cially interesting here, as they fall within the period of 
principal interest in this work, the three voyages of Captain 
James Cook. The first voyage occupied the years 1768-1771. 
One object was to observe the transit of Venus, the Island 
of Tahiti being selected as the place at which to do it. Cook 
followed the path of Biron, Wallis, and Carteret. After the 
observation had been taken at Tahiti, he proceeded west- 
ward and made extensive explorations in New Zealand and 
Australia. Upon his return to England he was commis- 
sioned to go again to the south Pacific to determine whether 
a great southern continent existed there, about which spec- 
ulation had been rife for two centuries. The expedition took 
place in 1772-1775, and the myth of the southern continent 
was exploded. Perhaps a more important fact here is that 
in all his voyage he lost but four men, and only one by 

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sickness. This was the result of special preparations by- 
Cook. Before his time it was usually the case that from 
forty to seventy-five per cent of the crew were lost. Cook's 
methods were published, and were followed by later voy- 
agers. It meant that the terror of the seas had been banished, 
and in a very great degree made Spain's retention of power 
in the Pacific so much the less secure. 

Cook's third voyage left England in the year 1776, and 
(as will be pointed out in a later chapter) caused the Span- 
ish government no little anxiety. One of its objects was to 
attack another longnstanding myth, that of a practical 
water passage through or around North America. Cook was 
commissioned to approach this problem from the Pacific 
side. He was also to get information of the coast, and was 
secretly instructed to take possession for England of all lands 
not hitherto discovered or visited by Europeans. En route 
he discovered the Hawaiian Islands in 1778, a group destined 
to occupy an important place in later voyages of the eight- 
eenth century. He reached the North American coast in 
about 44^, and proceeded northward. Some furs were picked 
up from the natives for mere trifles, and were later disposed 
of in China at such good prices as to open the eyes of 
merchants to the possibilities of the fur trade. The result was 
a swarm of European vessels, particularly English ships, on 
the northwest coasts in the last fifteen years of the century. 
To return to Cook, he continued northward, and passed 
through Bering Strait, but was obliged by the ice to turn 
back. While wintering in the Hawaiian Islands in 1779 he 
was killed in an affray with the natives. The expedition 
proceeded imder the command of Captain Clerke. Clerke 
also passed through Bering Strait, but he too was forced 
back by the ice, and soon afterward made his way around 
the world to England. 

To simi up, it is clear that English exploration in the 
Pacific was gathering momentum. Each new discovery and 
each advance in the science of navigation or other form of 
knowledge brought the Spanish empire of the Pacific just 
so much nearer a fall. To this must be added not only the 

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activities of the Russians, but also the voyages of the 
French, Dutch, and Portuguese. Furthermore, there were 
foes attacking from the Atlantic side, stripping Spain bit 
by bit of her colonies, and expanding into the unoccupied 
lands that brought them nearer to the Pacific coast. A little 
reflection will enable one to appreciate the vastness of the 
problem which Spain had to face. 

One other factor remains to be considered, that of the 
English advance across the North American continent. The 
westward progress of what was to become the United States 
had reached the Mississippi by 1776, but the American 
movement did not represent a threatening element as re- 
gards Spain's i)ossessions in the Pacific until after the pur- 
chase of Louisiana in 1803. Until then the political and 
geographical barriers were too great for the United States to 
be a danger. The Spanish government did contemplate the 
possibility of Americans crossing the Mississippi and encroach- 
ing on New Spain, but not on the Pacific northwest. Events 
in Canada, however, and particularly the activities of the 
Hudson's Bay Company, did indeed threaten the far-flung 
coast of the Californias, and the peril was recognized by 
Spain. One must think back to the voyages of the Cabots, 
followed by a procession of Enghsh mariners seeking the 
Northwest Passage, — ^Frobisher, Davis, Hudson, Baffin, 
James, and others, — ^if he is to get this subject in proper 
focus. France, however, was first to get a foothold in Can- 
ada, and soon afterward her colonists began to realize 
profits in the fur trade. Two Frenchmen, Groseilliers and 
Radisson, paved the way for England's sharing in this trade. 
Dissatisfied with the rewards accorded them by the French, 
they temporarily entered the service of some Englishmen 
who were interested in exploiting the fur trade of Hudson 
Bay, and in 1668 started English fur-trading operations in 
that region. The venture was a success, and led to the char- 
tering of the Hudson's Bay Company in 1670. The company 
was granted a monopoly and the proprietorship, with civil 
and criminal jurisdiction, of all Hudson Bay lands not actu- 
ally possessed by a Christian prince. Down to the Treaty 

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of Utrecht the company was in almost continual war with 
the French, who did not recognize its rights to the territory. 
The treaty of 1713, however, gave to England all lands em- 
braced by the waters emptying into Hudson Bay and 
Strait. The region acquired was not definitely known, but 
at all events the attacks of the French now ceased. 

The trade in furs was very profitable. Perhaps for this 
reason the company decided to let well enough alone, and 
adopted a policy of secrecy and restriction. All but the 
servants of the company were kept away from the territory, 
and the foimding of settlements and even the making of 
discoveries were discouraged. The discovery of a strait 
communicating with the Pacific had been one of the charter 
objects of the company; yet it was charged with opposing a 
search imtil forced to make the attempt. Likewise, agri- 
culture and mining were not encouraged. As a result, after 
a century of existence the company had in 1770 but seven 
posts, all close to Hudson Bay, with a total population of 
about two himdred men, all company servants. This ex- 
clusive policy had not passed without criticism. The most 
notable critic was a certain Arthur Dobbs, who devoted 
a large part of his life to attacking the company because 
of its failure to find the Northwest Passage. Several expe- 
ditions were made under the auspices respectively of the 
company (in self defence against Dobbs' charges), the gov- 
ernment, and a private concern, the last-named being 
financed by popular subscription. This activity took place 
for the most part between 1737 and 1747. Parliament mani- 
fested interest by offering £20,000 as a reward to the 
discoverer of the passage, but it was not found. It is 
noteworthy that in the last of these expeditions one of the 
boats was named California, and the forming of a settle- 
ment in the Califomias was contemplated, if the strait 
should be found, to serve as the base for a vast Pacific 
trade. Failing to find a passage, Dobbs now sought a charter 
for a new corporation, charging the Hudson's Bay Company 
with failure to extend its settlements to the interior. The 
case came up in 1749, and Dobbs' petition was denied. The 

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matter is of no small importance. A new company would 
undoubtedly have stimulated exploration, and might have 
resulted in much earlier penetration by a British enterprise 
to the Pacific coast, — ^with consequences that stir the 
imagination! From another standpoint the Dobbs contro- 
versy is important. It attained to a considerable publicity, 
and a number of books were written. These came to the 
notice of Spain, and were a cause of forebodings on her 

Twenty years later the company at last awakened to the 
desirability of interior exploration. The great name is that 
of Samuel Heame. Heame's first journey came in the year 
1769. He was sent out by the company to obtain informa- 
tion of the interior; in particular he was to reach a certain 
river said to abound in copper ore and fur-bearing animals. 
This journey was a failure, and in another of 1770 he again 
failed to reach the river of copper. In December of the 
same year he started a third time, and on this occasion was 
successful, reaching the river since called the Coppermine 
in July 1771, and descending it to its mouth in the Arctic 
Ocean. Not until June 1772 did he get back to the com- 
pany's post on Hudson Bay. The Hearne explorations were 
followed by a new policy on the part of the company, which 
began thenceforth to push its trading operations inland. 
Not much progress had been made, however, by the close of 
the year 1776, which marks the end of the period of princi- 
pal interest dealt, with here. That the Spanish government 
might well have been alarmed is proved by the remarkable 
westward progress of the company and its rivals in the last 
quarter of the eighteenth century. 

An important competitor had sprung up in the Scottish 
merchants of Montreal, themselves the successors of the 
French since the Seven Years' War. Before that war had 
ended they were already pushing into the region of the 
Great Lakes, and not long afterward penetrated as far as the 
Saskatchewan River. Gradually they drew together, and 
in the winter of 1783-1784 the North West Company was 
formed, an organization which was to accomplish vast re- 

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suits in the way of exploration. These companies were yet 
another powerful force in motion against the tottering 
Spanish Empire. In 1793 Alexander Mackenzie, a member 
of the North West CJompany, reached the Pacific in what is 
now British Columbia. Later, the Hudson's Bay Company 
acquired the rights of the North West Company, and by 
1828 was already operating in Alta California, while in 1841 
an agency was established at San Francisco. Truly this line 
of approach represented a veritable danger to Spain in the 
northwest — ^f ar greater than that of the Russians, because of 
its greater resources in the way of an advancing base of 

The gravest danger of all was that English advance 
which by the Declaration of Independence became Amer- 
ican in 1776. It may be assumed that the outstanding de- 
tails are known, and it need not be dwelt upon further than 
to say that it was slow-moving and late to arrive, but had 
behind it the greatest force and momentum of all, in addi- 
tion to a shorter and better route than those of the Russians 
and English. All things being equal, the people from the 
Atlantic seaboard of the United States would be the first 
to reach the Pacific in sufficient strength to possess the 
Califomias. As matters turned out, the equality of oppor- 
tunity was not sufficiently disturbed to deprive the United 
States of the Pacific coast, but the drama of California his^ 
tory lies in the almost coimtless eventualities which tended 
to keep affairs in normal course, to the advantage of the 
United States. 

When all these elements of foreign danger are rolled into 
one it appears that Spain's fears, considerable as they 
were, were not only not groundless but uideed far under the 
mark. A Spanish statesman who would have said, in 1776, 
''Let us devote ten times as much to the Califomias as we 
have ever done before, or let us abandon them" would have 
been regarded, at the very least, as extravagant in his views. 
But he would have been not far from right. 

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On September 23, 1771, the viceregal term of the Mar- 
ques de Croix came to an end, and Bucareli succeeded to 
his post. One needs only to glance at the full name and titles 
of the new viceroy to realize that he was a man of more than 
ordinary distinction; the following is the signature that 
appears in some of his most formal docxmtients: 

"The Knight Commander of the Order of Malta, Brother Don 
Antonio Maria BucareU y Urs6a, Enestrosa, Laso de la Vega, 
Villacis y C6rdova, Knight, Grand Cross, and Commander of &e 
Vault of Toro in the Order of Saint John, Gentleman of the Cham- 
ber of His Majesty, with right of entrance, Lieutenant-General 
of the Royal Armies, Viceroy, Governor, and Captain-General of 
the Kingdom of New Spain, President of its Royal Audienda, 
Superintendent-General of the Royal Estate and the Branch of 
Tobacco, Judge-Conservator of the latter. President of its Junto, 
and Subdelegate-General of the Rent of the Mails in the same 

Ordinarily, however, the viceroy signed with only a por- 
tion of his family name, and frequently was satisfied with no 
more than plain "Bucareli." 
According to Bancroft he 

"was a native of Seville, and related to the most noble families 
of Spain and Italy, being on his paternal side a descendant from 
a very distinguished fanuly of Florence, which boasted among its 
connections three popes, six cardinals, and other high officers of 
the state and church; and on the maternal, the Ursuas were 
related to several ducal families. The knight entered the military 
service of his country as a cadet, and rose by gallantry and honor- 
able service to be lieutenant-general. He had distinguished him- 
self in several campaigns in Italy and Spain, in engineering work, 
and as the inspector-general of cavalry. Lastlv. he was called to 

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be governor and captain-general of Cuba, where he again ren* 
dered valuable services to the crown, which were rewarded with 
the promotion to the viceroyalty of New Spain. Nor was this the 
only reward. He was not oiJy permitted to grant offices to twelve 
of his friends and attaches, a privilege that had been withheld for 
some years from his predecessors, but was given by royal order 
of January 22, 1777, an increase of $20,000 a year above what 
had been the viceroy's salary, making it 180,000, as a mark of 
special favor." 

Numerous instances, besides those just mentioned, prove 
the esteem in which he was held, both for his abiUties and for 
his characteristics as an honorable man. On one occasion the 
merchants loaned him $2,500,000 with no security except his 
word; at his death the king ordered that there should be no 
residencia, or examination into his conduct while in office, 
"a course," says Bancroft, "imprecedented in the history of 
royal representation " Mexican historians do not ordinarily 
speak well of their Spanish governors. Nevertheless, Man- 
uel Rivera has this to say: 

''The period diuing which Sefior Bucareli ruled was an unin- 
terrupted sequence of peace for New Spain; it seemed as if Prov- 
idence wished to reward the virtues of the viceroy by scattering 
upon his subjects everything that contributed to their well-being; 
he was one of those men whose memory will never be erased from 
the heart of Mexicans. His administration is a clear example of 
what this land was able to be, when a man of integrity and intelli- 
gence resolutely undertook the difficult task of developing its 
elements of wealth." 

In fine, for ability and high character Bucareli stands out 
as one of the greatest men in the history of New Spain . Far 
from being a narrow bureaucrat, he was capable of a broad 
point of view which grasped both the patent and the under- 
Ijring problems of the entire viceroyalty. A well-developed 
sense of perspective was one of his most marked traits, en- 
abling him to see matters as they were, but not checking him 
from taking measures to circumvent possible ills which to 
him did not appear greatly threatening. His letters show 
him to have been simple, straightforward, unselfish, clear- 
thinking, and sincerely religious, without a shadow of con- 
ceit or pretence, and even without great personal ambition, 

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except to perform his duty to the full. Fmally, he was keenly 
interested in the problems that he encountered, and was an 
indefatigable worker, and these characteristics, joined to the 
rest, make it clear why he achieved such success in the face 
of difficulties that would have proved insuperable to a less 
capable ruler. 

The extraordinary activities of BucareU are all the more 
surprising when it is realized that he had not desired his 
promotion to the viceroyalty, but would have preferred to 
return to Spain. Even after he entered upon his new duties 
he never ceased to hope that he might be succeeded, espe- 
cially if the new appointee might be his intimate personal 
friend General Alejandro O'Reilly, who wanted the post. 
Fate decreed that neither of the two men should have his 
wish, and Bucareli died in harness in 1779. No doubt 
Bucareli's desire to have affairs in the best possible shape for 
his friend O'Reilly entered into his zeal for the achievement 
of his ends, but the viceroy seems anyway to have been one 
of those rare individuals who can throw themselves whole- 
heartedly into an enterprise, merely out of a sense of duty, 
without a thought of self. 

With Bucareli's conduct of the affairs of the viceroyalty 
other than as they related to the CaUfomias this volume 
has no concern. It is true, however, that nothing interested 
him more than the precariously held province in the far north- 
west. It was not imtil 1773 that this interest began to show 
forth most keenly. Indeed, unable to get accurate 
accounts of conditions in Alta California and aware of the 
stupendous diflBculties in the way of its retention, he re- 
ported in February 1773, as already stated, that an early 
abandonment of the province might be expected. But it 
was just about at that time that his measures began to take 
effect, and in the next three years, 1773 to 1776, while the 
Califomias remained under his direct rule, he engaged in a 
series of activities which were remarkable alike for their 
range and for their success. 

The imderljdng basis of Bucareli's measures with respect 
to the Califomias was his desire to check even the posd- 

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bility of foreign encroachments on the domains of New 
Spain. The first intimation of European aggressions came 
early m 1773, when it was rumored that an Englishman 
named Bings was imdertaking a voyage to the North Pole, 
with a view to reaching the Califomias if possible. About 
the middle of the same year reports of Russian activities 
in the Pacific northwest reached Bucareli. These had ema- 
nated, late in 1772, from the Spanish ambassador to Russia, 
and were of an alarmist variety, but it was characteristic 
of the viceroy that he did not become excited, though he 
acted much more expeditiously and efifectively than the 
most terrified believer in these views might have done. 
Referring to these reports in a letter of July 27, 1773, to 
Arriaga, he expressed some doubt whether the Russians had 
actually reached North America, and alluded to the diffi- 
culties they would have in establishing themselves, but gave 
his opinion that precautionary measures ought to be taken. 

''I deem it well that any establishment of the Russians in this 
continent or of any other foreign power ought to be guarded 
agarnst," he said, ''not that the king needs any extension of terri- 
tory, when there is much more in his own dominions than can be 
settled in centuries, but rather to avoid the consequences which 
would follow from having other neighbors than the Indians.'' 

Thus did Bucareli, like scores of men before his time as well 
as after, foreshadow the Monroe Doctrine, pronounced 
in 1823 by one of the peoples whom the original enunciators 
had intended to check. Continuing, Bucareli said: 

^'Ab for the Russians it may be possible, though it will be 
difficult, for them to establish themselves, but there is no doubt 
that it will be prejudicial to the dominions of the king if they 
succeed. Reason persuades us that it will be less difficult for 
the king to prevent it than for the Russians to undertake it, 
though at much cost to the treasury." 

This seems also to have represented the views of the Min- 
ister-General in Spain, as appears from Arriaga's letter of 
January 24, 1774, to Bucareli. 

"A3 for the Russian discoveries," he said, "to me th^ are still 
a very remote object of attention, and the present time seems 
much too early for them to be a cause for alarm. But as the 

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preparatioDS against them serve many other purposes, especially 
in that they conduce to missionary work and the extension of the 
gospel, — the more land we gain by discoveries, — I am very well 
satisfied with all that has l:^n done, for in this manner, by sea 
and land, we may proceed with our conquests to one place after 

Here was imperialism imder a religious cloak, but nothing 
like fear. As for the English, Bucareli expressed the pre- 
vailing opinion in a letter of September 28, 1774, to Arriaga. 
Referring to the possibility of the English having extended 
their conquests westward to the Pacific! from Hudson Bay, 
he said: 

''This seems to me a very distant prospect which does not at 
the present time impose new cares upon us; indeed it has the same 
appearances of invention as the pretended passage from that bay 
to our South Sea [Pacific Ocean], of which public accoimts have 
spoken so much." 

Clearly, therefore, the Spaniards did not look upon this 
period as one of a particular emergency any more than they 
had in 1768-1769, but on the long-standing ground of for- 
eign danger, in fulfilment of the ^'Spanish Monroe Doc- 
trine," a remarkable series of activities were set in motion 
by the viceroy, with results which were the dominating 
element in the future of Alta California and much else of 
the Pacific coast. 

Chronologically considered, the outstanding events in 
the achievement of his policies were the following: he 
procured the formation of a reglamento (instrument of gov- 
ernment) for the Califomias and San Bias in July 1773, 
supplementing it by his instruction of the following month to 
Rivera; in September he authorized Captain Anza to open 
a land route to Alta California, as a result of which a success- 
ful expedition was made in 1774; in November 1773 he or- 
dered Colonel Agustfn Crame to explore the Isthmus of 
Tehuantepec in search of a route for the transportation of 
artillery from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and in the next 
two months thid exploration was imdertaken with success; 
in December 1773 the despatch of Juan P^rez on a voyage 
of exploration to the far northwest was formally decided 

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upon, and during most of the next year P^rez engaged upon 
the voyage; early in 1774 Rivera was sent to Alta CaUfomia 
by way of the peninsula with a small party of colonists; on 
Perez's return in November 1774, after a voyage of only 
moderate success, Bucareli at once determined upon a fresh 
series of voyages; as a result, Heceta and Bodega were 
despatched to the northwest coast in 1775, and Ayala passed 
through the Golden Gate and thoroughly explored San 
Francisco Bay; meanwhile, in November 1774, Bucareli 
had authorized Anza to take a great body of colonists and 
herds of domestic animals to Alta California along the route 
that Anza had recently discovered; this expedition, second 
only to the discovery of gold in 1848 in its positive conse- 
quences upon California history, took place in 1776-1776, 
and, BS one of its important incidents, brought about the 
foimding of San Francisco in 1776; and through all these 
years the viceroy was most energetic in providing for the 
supply and development of the CaUfomias and of the De- 
partment of San Bias on which they so greatly depended. 
His plans and the preliminary steps for their accomplish- 
ment reached much further. He wished to bring about the 
discovery of new routes connecting New Mexico' with Alta 
California and Sonora. This was in part achieved by Father 
Garc6s in 1776 before Bucareli had given the formal order 
for an exploration. He was also about to establish settle- 
ments on the Gila and Colorado rivers, more particularly at 
the junction of the two, in order to secure the land route to 
Alta CaUfomia, when a change of government occurred, 
late in 1776, which took the frontier provinces out of his 

The total result of his work was to place Alta California 
on a permanent basis and ensure it from foreign seizure 
until such time as an overland advance from the Atlantic 
coast of upper North America should reach the Pacific. 
Given three years more time he would almost certainly have 
brought about a populous development of Alta California 
by use of the Sonora route. The inevitable result would 
have been the discovery of gold and a rush of colonists to the 

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province. The chances are, however, that the mfiux would 
have resembled that at Cieneguilla in 177 1, rather than the 
predominantly Anglo-American colonization of 1848-1849. ^ 
In that case California would today have been, most likely, 
a Spanish American republic, though the probabihty of its 
passing imder the English flag was not small and there was 
a remote chance that it might have become a Russian 
province. In fine, then, Bucareli saved Alta California 
temporarily for Spain and ultimately for the United States, 
and was only prevented from making an eventual gift of the 
province to Spanish America or perhaps England, by an 
occurrence — ^fortimately for the present possessors! — over 
which he had no control. 

The events which brought about these great consequences 
are too important to be passed over smamiarily. Having 
already outlined them, however, it will be possible in the 
next several chapters to abandon chronology and treat the 
subject according to the different lines of endeavor by which 
Bucareli aspired to reach a single end, — ^the defence of the 
Califomias against the possibiUty of foreign encroachment, 
which, it must be borne in mind, was at all times the main- 
spring of the viceroy's action, though other reasons were 
prominently set forth by others and even by himself. Thus, 
such a harmless document as the instruction to Rivera in 
1773 (hereinafter considered) was produced by the reports of 
English and Russian aggressions, and the Anza expeditions 
were ordered for the same purpose, though hardly a word to 
that effect appears in the discussions of juntas called to con- 
sider them. The official communications directed by 
Bucareli to Arriaga and his private correspondence with 
O'Reilly repeatedly affirmed this idea, however. Further- 
more, nothing in the affairs of the viceroyalty interested him 
so much or got so large a share of his attention as the 
problems of the Califomias and the route thereto from 
Sonora. As he put it on one occasion, 

''It seems as if this has been my only attention in this corn- 

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It is appropriate to treat first of his activities directly 
against the possibility of foreign danger, leaving for later 
discussion those measures which contributed indirectly to 
the same end by strengthening Alta California against the 
likelihood of abandonment. 

If an attack by foreign powers had to be met, the new 
settlements would require cannon with which to defend 
themselves. The problem of transportation across New 
Spain was so difficiilt that it had been the practice to rely 
upon shipments from Manila for use along the Pacific coast 
of North America. Wishing to avoid the delays incident to 
the long voyage across the Pacific, Bucareli sent Colonel 
Crame to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to see if a good route 
existed. A tradition had long been current to the effect that 
Cort63 had used that route for the transportation of artillery, 
and there were also some cannon at Vera Cruz, on the 
Atlantic, which had been cast in Manila. Late in Decem- 
ber 1773 and early in January 1774 Crame made his ejcplora- 
tion, and reported that he had found an excellent route; 
indeed, by making use of the rivers, he said it would even be 
feasible to build a canal from sea to sea. Pleased with this 
initial success, Bucareli wrote to Arriaga that it might be 
well to employ this route for the supply of the Califomias. 
No such use seems to have been made of Crame's discovery, 
but it is interesting to note that in recent times the Isthmus 
of Tehuantepec has been one of the principal trade routes 
connecting California with the Atlantic ports of the United 

Of much more actual importance was the P6rez voyage of 
1774. Since the founding of Alta California, Juan P6rez 
had been by far the most notable maritime figure in the life 
of the province, and when he now signified his desire to make 
a voyage to the far northwest, Bucareli eagerly availed him- 
self of his services. The essential features of his instructions, 
which were dated December 24, 1773, were the following: 
he was to put to sea in the Santiago and endeavor to reach 
60"" north latitude; turning southward he was then to make a 
thorough exploration of the coabt, landing as often as possible 

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and taking possession; and he was to avoid communication 
with foreign ships or foreign settlements^ but was in other 
ways to procure such information of them as he could. On 
January 24, 1774, P6rez left San Bias, and, after stops at 
San Diego and Monterey, departed from the latter on June 
11. He got to about SS'^, thus forging the first HnTc in the 
later claim of the United States (in succession to Spain) of 
''fifty-four forty or fight.'' But on account of bad weather 
he was unable to land or even to make good observations of 
Jthe coast. Furthermore, he found no Russian settlements 
and no clear proof, either, that they did not exist. On July 
22 he turned south, and on November 3 (after a long stop at 
Monterey) reached the port of San Bias. He had indeed 
procured some information, and Bucareli was satisfied that 
he had achieved as much as could have been expected, but 
preparations were at once begun for a fresh voyage of dis- 

The voyage now projected was to be one of the most 
thorough-going of any the Spaniards ever sent out. Bruno 
de Heceta on the Santiago was to be in command, while 
P6rez was to be his pilot and second in authority. The 
thu-ty-six foot craft Sonora, under Juan Manuel de Ayala, 
was to serve as consort of the Santiago. These two vessels 
carried much the same instructions as those given to P6rez 
a year before, but 65** was now set as the northerly point 
which they should endeavor to reach before turning south. 
At the same time the San Carlos^ under Miguel Manrique, 
was to make a thorough survey of San Francisco Bay — ^the 
former so-called "Estuary," which had now become 
definitely recognized by the name previously appUed to the 
smaller port to the north. "I regard the occupation of this 
port as indispensable,'' wrote Bucareli, in discussing his 
plans for Manrique's voyage. Yet another ship, the San 
Antonioy under Fernando Quu*6s, was to go to Alta Califomia 
with the other three, but was to proceed only as far as San 
Diego, with supphes for the southern missions. The San 
Antonio in fact did not leave port until five days after the 
rest of the fleet, but the other three set sail from San Bias on 

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March 16, 1775. The voyage had not proceeded far when 
the commander of the San Carlos became insane, and it was 
necessary to send him ashore. This occasioned a shifting of 
commanders. Ayala was placed on board the San Carlos, 
while Juan Francisco de la Bod^a y Cuadra took charge of 
the Sonera. 

The Santiago and Sonora went on to the far northwest 
without stopping in Alta California. On July 30 they be- 
came separated, and did not come together again until they 
met at Monterey in the fall. Heceta got to about 49**, 
usually sailing near the shore and anchoring often. In the 
course of his exploration he discovered the mouth of the 
Columbia River, thus ante-dating the American sailor 
Robert Gray, long reputed the discoverer, by seventeen 
years. Sickness of his crew at length forced Heceta to turn 
back, andby August 29 he was already at Monterey. Bodega, 
who was destined to attain to the greatest reputation of tiie 
Spanish navigators along the northwest coast, accomplished 
even more. He went nearly to 58® with the tiny Sonora^ made 
a thorough survey from the limit formerly reached by 
P6rez, and landed twice to take possession. Scurvy and the 
low state of his provisions finally caused him to make for 
Monterey, but he continued to explore the coast as best he 
could, until on October 7 he rejoined his chief at the Alta 
California capital. On November 1st the two ships departed 
in company for San Bias, arriving there on November 20. 
On the second day out from Monterey, Juan P^rez died; no 
man of his time Imew the coast of the Calif ornias so well as 
he, and none had worked more faithfully and imassimiingly 
for the good of the new establishments. The voyages of 
Heceta and Bodega had been an unqualified success. In 
addition to their exploration and acts of possession, they had 
found no foreign ships or settlements, and could feel rea- 
sonably certain that those coasts were safe from aggression 
so far as they had seen them. 

More important, perhaps, in its ultimate results was the 
voyage of Ayala to San Francisco Bay. At the same moment 
that he was making his way up the coast from San Bias to 

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Monterey the Lexington farmers in far-ofif Massachusetts 
were firing the ''shot that was heard around the world." 
Ayala may well have failed to hear that shot, but he was 
made painfully aware of another; the insane Manrique had 
left loaded pistols about his cabin, and one of these was 
accidentally exploded, wounding Ayala. On this account 
Ayala was obliged to conduct much of his subsequent ex- 
plorations of San Francisco Bay through his subordinates, 
Jos6 Caidzares and Juan Bautista Aguirre, but Ayala him- 
self remained with the ship to the end of the voyage. Stop- 
ping long enough at Monterey to build a laimch by hollowing 
out the trunk of a redwood tree, Ayala set sail again on 
July 27. Eight days later, on August 4, he arrived oflf the 
entrance to San Francisco Bay. Early next day he sent 
Canizares inside with the laimch to look for an anchorage, 
but when Canizares did not return during all that day, for 
the currents and tides of the Golden Gate had proved too 
strong, Ayala resolved to attempt an entrance himself. 
During the evening of the 5th of August, therefore, the little 
San Carlos successfully passed through the strait into the 
famous port of the west, and anchored near the present 
North Beach. Cafiizares and Ayala between them had 
thus attained to the honor of making the first recorded en* 
trance into San Francisco Bay by way of the Golden Gate. 
For the next forty-four days Ayala and his men remained 
in the bay, making a thorough exploration of every part of 
it, even as far as the mouth of the San Joaquin River, taking 
soundings and naming geographical points. Two of their 
names have survived, though in slightly different form. The 
great island just inside the strait, in a sheltered nook of which 
the San Carlos itself remained during most of their stay 
(while the launch was used for explorations), was called 
"Our Lady of the Angels" {Niiestra Sefiora de las Angeles), 
and the name remains in the present "Angel Island." 
Another island was called by them the "Island of the 
Pelicans" {Isla de las Akatraces), and the name appears 
today in "Alcatraz Island." Curiously enough, however, 
this name has jiunped over several miles of water, for it was 

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applied by the Spaniards to Yerba Buena (vulgarly called 
Goat Island) instead of to the islet which now bears the 

Rivera had been ordered to cooperate with Ayala in 
erecting buildings for the settlers who were about to be sent 
from Sonora, but the indolent, procrastinating governor 
never left Monterey, and this part of the viceroy's plan was 
not now accompUshed. But a vast deal of information had 
been acquired. On September 18 Ayala left the bay, — 
having failed to get out in a previous attempt on September 
7, — and the following day he anchored at Monterey, whence 
not long afterward he departed for San Bias. Ayala reported 
to Bucareli that the Bay of San Francisco was 

"the best he had seen in those seas from Cape Horn north," 
and added that it was "not one port, but many, with a single en- 

Giving a summary view of his impressions, he described the 
bay as follows: 

"The said bay is a good port, not only because of the fine propor- 
tions which it offers to the sight, but also because there is no scar- 
city of good water, wood, and stone for ballast. Its climate, though 
cold, is entirely healthful, and is free from the annoying daily 
fogs experienced at Monterey. To all these advantages must be 
added the best of all, which is that the heathen Indians of the 
port are so faithful in their freindship and so docile in their dis- 
position that I was greatly pleased to receive them on board." 

San Franciscans today would, no doubt, like to believe that 
what Ayala said about the fogs was true for all seasons and 
all years. 

The great voyages of 1775 closed, for a time, the activities 
directly against foreign encroachments. On the P6rez, 
Heceta, and Bodega voyages alone Spain had spent more 
than 50,000 pesos, then considered an enormous sum, es- 
pecially by a government which was not in the habit of 
applying its resources to Quixotic schemes. It seemed at 
the time that Spain had assured herself that the danger was 
not very pressing, — ^just at the moment when James Cook 
was about to sail from England on a voyage that was to 

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bring home the reality of Spain's traditional fears I Bucareli, 
however, was by no means inclined to give up his measures, 
for on the ground of the long-standing and eventual peril he 
understood that it would be best to carry on the '^aggressive 
defensive'' in order to place Spain in a strong position against 
the time when the storm should break. Meanwhile, he had 
all along, at least since early in 1773, been devoting his at- 
tention to matters indirectly conducive to the same end. 
It is now time to review some of these activities. 

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Nothing is more characteristic of Bucareli's services to 
Alta California than his attention to the purely local 
problems of the province, though in these as in other matters 
he was influenced primarily by his desire to ward off an 
eventual foreign danger. His activities centred around two 
principal ideas : that of averting an abandonment of Alta 
Calif omiai through watchful care ovev the remission of sup- 
plies by sea and over the affairs of the Department of San 
Bias; and constructive measures for the government and 
development of the northern province. 

As already pointed out, the climate and natural resources 
of Alta California were not sufl5cient in themselves to keep 
civilized men alive, however well the Indians were able to 
subsist. Everything had to come from Mexico or from 
Spain; even food had to be sent, for the colonists coidd not 
depend upon acorns and chance supplies of bear-meat, and 
agricultiu*al products and domestic animals were not yet 
raised in sufficient quantities to provide for the needs of the 
new establishments. In practice, aU of these things (provi- 
sions, goods, and effects) were shipped to San Diogo and 
Monterey from the port of San Bias oflf the west coast of New 
Spain. Founded by Gd,lvez in 1768, San Bias was to be the 
principal medium between Alta California and the outside 
world during most of the Spanish period. The development 
of an overland route to Alta California was necessary, for 
the elements of permanence (settlers and domestic animals) 
could not be forwarded in the storm-tossed, scurvy-stricken, 


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cockle-shell boats which Spam employed along the Pacific 
coast, but the sending of supply-ships was an equally vital 
necessity, without which the province would soon have been 

Alta California had been saved by a narrow margin in 
1770, when the dutiful Portold held out against starvation 
until relief came. In 1772 Fages had averted failure by his 
successful bear himt. The greatest peril of all, perhaps, 
came in 1774, when Alta Cahfomia was in the midst of the 
worst famine it ever experienced. This time the hero of the 
occasion was none other than the viceroy, Bucareli, who 
saved the situation by his good judgment and his attention 
to the supply-ships: by his good judgment, for in spite of re- 
ports from the pilots of the supply-ships, the conmiissary of 
San Bias, governors Barry and Fages, and Father Verger 
(who as Father Superior of the College of San Fernando was 
in receipt of conmumications from the missionaries) to the 
effect that Alta California was well supplied with provisions, 
he resolved to '^play the game safely" and sent off an extra 
ship;>and by his attention to the supply-ships, in that at 
this time and thereafter he saw to it that the provisions were 
good and that boats got off on time, despite the difficulties 
(presently to be mentioned) in maintaining the Department 
of San Bias. 

Meanwhile there had been an all-round scarcity in Alta 
Califomia, lasting from the summer of 1773 to the spring of 
1774, during which time the Spaniards of the presidios and 
missions lived principally on milk, and none too much of 
that, for there were few animals to supply it. Herbs were 
sou^t to eke out the colonists' scanty fare. The lack was 
equally great in the manufactiu^ articles of civilized life, 
though it was perhaps less pressing than the need for food. 
Writing in June 1774 Rivera reported a lack of essential 
articles at the presidios. Some of the soldiers had a gun but 
no sword, some a sword but no gun, and some had neither 
one nor the other. Munitions were also scarce. Further- 
more, there was a need for soap and — ^this surely was im- 
portant — ^for tobacco! 

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Utter famine was averted and relief in other respects ex- 
tended when P6rez put in at San Diego on March 13, 1774, 
in the Santiago. P6rez, however, was in the midst of his 
voyage of exploration to the northwest coast, and needed 
great stores of supplies for himself. It had not been intended 
that he should leave anything for the southern colonies, 
though he had planned to provide for Monterey and the 
north; the south was to receive supplies which had for this 
one time been landed in Baja California, but the old prob- 
lems of the peninsula route, notably the lack of pack-animals, 
had prevented Governor Barry from forwarding them. 
Because of his anxiety over the P6rez voyage Bucareli had 
decided to send out a second ship. Wholly on his own 
initiative he arranged for a voyage of the San AnUmio^ and 
it was the arrival of this vessel, not long after P6rez in the 
Santiago, that put the province out of danger. San Diego 
was reUeved in March 1774. The other southern missions 
had to wait a while until the provisions could be taken to 
them by mule-train, and those of the north held out yet 
longer until the relief ships got to Monterey. 

Having had one narrow escape from failure Bucareli never 
again allowed Alta California to incur such risk. It is now 
time to point out that the affairs of the Department of San 
Bias, on which both Califomias depended, were no slight 
problem in themselves. But, just as he had meanwhile 
attacked questions of the internal conditions of Sonora and 
Baja California (because of their bearing upon the settle- 
ments in Alta California) , so too Bucareli turned intently and 
efficiently to the situation at San Bias. 

The port itself at San Bias was inadequate, and shortly 
after its founding it began to show signs of filling in. Several 
times, ships ran aground within the i)ort. Soundings were 
taken of near-by ports, and niunerous suggestions were made 
to locate the Department at Acapulco or elsewhere, but the 
change was never made. Furthermore, the site was more 
than usually unhealthful. Not only did this affect the men, 
but also food supplies could not be stored at San Bias, for 
they would spoil. It was necessary therefore to make care- 

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ful calculatioBS so that provisions would arrive only shortly 
before a ship was about to deport for the north. 

A more serious difficulty arose from the lack of sufficient 
shipping to carry on the duties of the Department^ such as 
the sending of supplies to Alta and Baja California and 
engagmg in explorations of the northwest coast. Naturally, 
this problem tended to become harder to solve as Alta CaU- 
fomia developed, for more and more provisions, goods, and 
effects were needed than formerly. This difficulty may be 
illustrated by the state of affairs in 1776 (after Anza^s 
colonists had reached Alta California and therefore greatly 
increased its population). Writing to Arriaga in August, 
Bucareli explained that there were then five boats employed 
by the Department, of which four were absent on provision 
voyages, two having gone to the northern province and two 
to the peninsula. Meanwhile^ orders had come from Spain 
to use one ship to carry Jos6 de Areche (at that time fiscal of 
the Audienda of Mexico) to Perd, where he was to serve as 
visitador, and also to employ two ships for a fresh series of 
explorations in the northwest, to begin in December 1777. 
Yet the two ships bound for Alta California had not been 
able to carry all that was needed; it was almost essential that 
the only remaining ship at San Bias should also go north, — 
but the orders were imperative to send Areche to Perti at 
once. On this occasion Bucareli was aided by good luck. A 
stray merchant ship happened to put in at Acapulco, — ^an 
unusual occurrence in those days of trade prohibition. It 
was at once pressed into service for Areche's use, and the 
Santiago at San Bias was freed for the supply voyage. 
There still remained the question of northwestward ex- 
ploration, which was impossible of execution without more 
ships. Bucareli solved this on his own initiative without 
waiting for authority from Spain. He ordered the post- 
ponement of the exploring voyages for a year, on the ground 
that it was much more important to ensure supplying the 
Califomias, lest Spain lose what she already had. He sent 
Bodega to Perd with Areche to procure a ship there, and he 
himself took steps to have another built at San Bias. Thw 

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was the emergency taken care of, but it should be noted that 
this is presented only as an illustration of the kinds 
of problems that confronted the viceroy ahnost every 

One may wonder why it was that boats in suflScient num- 
bers and of adequate size were not built at San Bias. The 
answer to such a query goes to the root of Bucareli's principal 
difficulties in the maintenance of the Department. In the 
first place he at all times had to manage with scant fimds; 
60 much has already been said on this phase of Spanish 
colonial policy that there is no need to dilate upon it here. 
But, even aside from this factor, the viceroy was at his wit's 
end to procure both the manufactured articles and the men 
required for shipbuilding and the other tasks of the Depart- 
ment. This may be illustrated by the events of 1775- 

Late in the year 1775 there arose a need at San Bias for 
certain tools, iron, canvas, tackle, and artillery. The back- 
ward state of New Spain can be imderstood when it is said 
that these things had to be procured elsewhere. It was 
necessary to send to Spain for the tools and iron, but it was 
hoped that the other effects might be picked up in Havana. 
Orders were given immediately for both requests to be sup- 
plied. The affair was handled with all possible speed in 
Spain, with the result that the tools and iron reached San 
Bias about a year after the request At best, therefore, the 
viceroy had to know the needs of the Department for a year 
ahead. This was only "at best,'* as becomes clear by a re- 
view of the attempts to procure the materials sought for in 
Havana. Bucareli's original request was made on August 
27, 1775, and this he followed up repeatedly with other 
petitions. The canvas, tackle, and artillery got clogged up 
in Spanish administration, in spite of all that Bucareli could 
do. It proved impossible to get them at Havana, and the 
authorities in Spain hesitated before the great expense of 
shipping them from Europe. Finally, in April 1777, after 
nearly two years of fruitless endeavor, Bucareli wrote to the 
viceroy of Perd, to see if they could be supplied from there. 

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Presumably he got them, though the evidence has not yet 
come to light, but if he did, it was only after many more 

At least equally difficult was the problem of getting the 
men that the Department required. Soldiers were needed, 
not on account of Indians, but to suppress disorderly sailors. 
Sailors in port after a long voyage are traditionally inclined 
to be refractory, but this was not the sole or perhaps the 
principal reason why soldiers had to be on hand. The sailors 
objected chiefly to being sailors at all, especially for the 
death-dealing Alta California voyages. They knew well that 
their prospects of escaping the scurvy were slight, and the 
chances of death, if they contracted the dread disease, were 
very great. It was therefore necessary almost to drive them 
aboard ship. Thus it was that soldiers had to be obtained, 
and governmental authorization was necessary, as th^ 
involved expenditures. 

Similarly, the men needed for other purposes had to be 
authorized by the Spanish government. Thus, in 1775 when 
there was no surgeon or chaplain at San Bias, BucareU had 
to get a permit in order to supply them. Early in 1776 
Bucareli asked for a number of pilots, carpenters, and 
caulkers for the Department. The men were sent from time 
to tiDie, but through death or other causes the posts were 
rarely filled. In November 1776 Bucareli asked for a 
ship-builder, who of course had to be procured in Spain. 
One man was appointed, but managed to avoid the dis- 
agreeable duty. Finally another was selected in November 
1777, and over his objection (on the ground that he was 
leaving his family destitute) was forced on board ship and 
obliged to go. Presumably he arrived at San Bias at some 
tiDie in the spring or summer of 1778, and a ship was built 
there in that year which took part in the voyages of ex- 
ploration of 1779. 

It will be seen, therefore, that the difficulties of supplying 
the Califomias were very great. Yet the viceroy was able 
to manage it, despite the long and (so far as he was con- 
cerned) unavoidable delays in connection with the Depart- 

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ment of San Bias and despite the inadequacy of funds and 
equipment. Yet, at the same time that he was attending to 
such other maritime affairs as the voyages of exploration 
along the northwest coast, he was also able both to sustain 
and to some extent to develop the Califomias, especially 
the new establishments in the north. 

From the time of his arrival in the viceroyalty Bucareli 
gave a great share of his attention to the local affairs of the 
Califomias, first with the idea of retaining what Spain 
already possessed, and later with a view to their development. 
The earliest problem was that of an adjustment of internal 
affairs. The first great step was taken in 1772 when the two 
Califomias were divided, for missionary purposes, between 
the Franciscans of San Fernando and the Dominicans. 
Ever since 1768 the latter had sought to gain entry to the 
peninsula, but had been prevented from so doing by the 
opposition of Gdlvez. By 1772, however, the Franciscans 
themselves made no objection; so the division was made, the 
boundary being placed a few miles farther south than the 
present international line. It is worthy of note that the 
Franciscans consented because they had learned to appre- 
ciate the scant utility of Baja California whether as a mis- 
sion field or as an aid to the much more valuable country 
farther north; as regards the matter of a route they hoped to 
profit by an establishment of communications with Sonora, 
which they realized would be of far more use to them than 
the connection with the peninsula. 

The division of the Califomias was only on^ of a number 
of preliminary measures looking toward the forming of a 
reglamentOy or instrument of government, for the Califomias 
and San Bias. A great step ahead was taken with the arrival 
of Father Serra in Mexico in Febmary 1773. This was the 
occasion when he came from Alta California with the object 
of procuring the removal of Governor Fages and the adoption 
of regulations which he believed essential to the continuance 
of missionary work in the northern province. Though the 
substitution of Rivera for Fages, due to Serra's request, was 
an unwise step, there can be no doubt that the Father- 

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President rendered a great service to Alta California during 
the several months that he remained in the capital. He 
came to Mexico at a time when Bucareli was all at sea over 
the afifairs of the Calif omias. Serra was just the man he 
needed for the information that he required, and it is to the 
credit both of Father Jimipero and of the viceroy that they 
used their opportimities for conferring, to the full. One 
result was that Bucareli was able to proceed with more con- 
fidence to the forming of a reglamento. 

The first California code was the Reglamento Provisional 
of 1773. This was drawn up by Juan Jos6 de Echeveste 
(whose name is often applied to it), who had gained much of 
the knowledge upon which he based his reglamento through 
having been for several years the piirchasing agent in 
Mexico City for the two Califomias. The reglamento in its 
final form had little of what would ordinarily be expected in 
an instrument of government. It was composed of three 
documents: the recommendations of Echeveste, dated May 
19, 1773; the supplementary opinion of a junta of July 8, 
making some modifications; and Bucareli's decree of July 23, 
adopting the suggestions of Echeveste, with the changes 
proposed by the junta. The body of the whole instrument 
was the Echeveste document, the terminology of which 
suggested and argued in favor of certain courses of action but 
did not order them; these of course became commands by 
virtue of Bucareli's decree. Naturally there were many 
paragraphs of a temporary nature, and on the other hand 
much that actually applied to the government of the Cali- 
fomias was either taken for granted (on the basis of Spain's 
general colonial policy) or else depended upon earlier isolated 
orders to the governors and the Father-President. 

The Echeveste reglamento opened with an estimate of the 
annual expenditure required for the maintenance of the two 
Califomias and the Department of San Bias, all three of 
which regions were to be in a measure subject to the same 
jurisdiction. The plans for Alta California called for an 
establishment of eighty-two soldiers, four carpenters, four 
blacksmiths; four muleteers, and two warehouse keepers, 

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without counting the missionaries (who w&e provided for 
out of the Pious Fund). This would necessitate a govern- 
mental expenditure of about 39,000 pesos a year, but it 
would amount really to about 16,000, at it was proposed to 
charge goods to the soldiers at an advance of 150 per cent 
over the price in Mexico City, the extra amount being con- 
sidered a proper allowance for freight. Goods for Baja 
California were to be charged at 100 per cent increase, but 
nothing extra was to be collected in the case of San Bias. 
The total annual expenditurechargeable to the royal treasury 
for all three r^ons was estimated at nearly 93,000 pesos. 
The salt-mines of San Bias were expected to yield 25,000 
pesos a year, and it was proposed to take 10,000 from the 
Pious Fund, but the remainder, nearly 58,000 pesos, was 
to be paid by the government. Thus clearly did Spain 
demonstrate her belief in the importance of the non-revenue- 
producing Califomias. 

Following the preliminary estimate came the Echeveste 
reglamento proper, in seventeen numbered paragraphs. The 
most notable provision was that which aimed to encourage 
emigration to Alta California. Anybody who wished to go 
there was to be taken from San Bias free of charge, have 
free rations for five years, and be paid the wages of a sailor 
for two years. Once arrived in Alta California his services 
were to be utilized for raising crops. It can well be imagined 
what a stampede there would be to come to California if 
such terms were offered today. But it helps to give per- 
spective on the actual situation when it is realized that this 
generous measure, aside from its indication of the govern- 
ment's desires, was without effect. The colonization of Alta 
California was to require a distinct effort upon the part of 
the viceroy, — ^but he was to provide it I One further para- 
graph may be noticed. Strict provision was made for keep- 
ing accounts and giving information to the viceroy; Bucareli 
did not intend to be at a loss again on that score. Most note- 
worthy of the amendments by the junta was one that the 
Pious Fund should be asked to contribute 10,000 pesos for 
the year 1774 alone; it was brought out that that institution 

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was already expending nearly 15,000 pesos for the regularly 
established needs of the missionaries, besides extra sums for 
irregularly recurring eventualities. 

The reglamento of 1773 should be taken in connection with 
the viceroy's instructions to Rivera, the newly-appointed 
governor of Alta California. These instructions, dated 
August 17, 1773, were largely an expansion of the terms of 
the reglamento, a copy of which (including the amendments 
of the junta) was attached. In addition, Bucareli showed 
that he understood the scant prospects of volunteer coloniza- 
tion when he called upon Rivera to recruit some soldier- 
settlers with their families to take to Alta California. 
Several paragraphs, also, were devoted to the precautions to 
be employed against the entry of foreign ships. Great 
emphasis was placed upon maintenance of harmony with the 
religious and upon the care to be used in the selection of 
mission sites; Rivera was reminded that they might one day 
become great cities, — a noteworthy statement not only be- 
cause of its prophetic vision but also because of the fact that 
Bucareli actually contemplated such a development. Rivera 
was particularly charged to take steps to found a mission at 
San Francisco, which henceforth became one of the principal 
objectives of Bucareli's policies, because of the well recog- 
nized importance of the port. The relations of Rivera with 
the governor of the Califomias, then resident in the 
peninsula, were clearly defined. Rivera was to report to 
his superior at Loreto, but the latter was to have no power 
to change his measures; thus was the virtual separation of 
the two Califomias declared. 

Bucareli reaped the inevitable reward of his appointment 
of Rivera to succeed Fages, and he freely admitted his mis- 
take when it became apparent. Rivera neglected to fulfil 
the viceroy^s instructions about the planting of crops and 
the all-round development of Alta California. It was there- 
fore with great satisfaction that Bucareli received the news, 
in 1776, that henceforth the governor of the Califomias was 
to reside in Monterey and the lieutenant-governor in 
Loreto. This meant an exchange of Rivera for the able and 

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energetic Felipe de Neve, from whom Bucareli, with good 
reason, expected better things. On Christmas Day 1776 
Bucareli issued his formal instructions to Neve. These in- 
structions, in twenty-seven paragraphs, were the last in the 
series of great docimients by which Bucareli provided for 
the internal management of the Califomias, and together 
with the reglamento of 1773, the instructions to Rivera, and 
a later reglamento drawn up by Neve himself were the 
foundation upon which Alta California was governed to the 
end of the Spanish period. From time to time there were 
other orders inconsistent with those just named, but none 
had an equal influence. 

Among the more important of the orders given to Neve 
were those requiring him to take steps with a view to the 
founding of settlements in Alta California. He was called 
upon to establish two missions along the Santa Barbara 
Channel, two between San Di^o and San Gabriel, a second 
mission at San Francisco (the eventual Santa Clara), and 
another between that and Monterey. Great attention was 
paid to the economic development of the province. Neve 
was specifically charged to heed the instructions of that 
character which Rivera had failed to put into effect. 
Spanish settlers were to be given grants of land and en- 
couraged to take up agriculture, for which purpose Bucareli 
had shipped a quantity of plough-shares and other utensils 
of husbandry. Various paragraphs displayed the viceroy's 
solicitude for the settlement at San Francisco, of which to 
him more than to anybody else the beginnings were due. 
Among other things it may be noted that he was sending a 
surgeon, a carpenter, and a smith to that port from Mexico 
City and a mason from San Bias. 

The instructions to Neve were the basis for the only 
development occurring in Alta Califomia for many years 
after 1776, for Neve's great work was in fulfilment of these 
commands rather than in obedience to any new orders from 
Teodoro de Croix. This document also marked about the 
last act of the viceroy of direct aid to Alta California, for the 
management of that province passed out of his hands with 

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the establishment of the commandancy-general. Fortu- 
nately, however, the supply-ships were still left to Bucareli to 
handle, and this task he performed ably — as also that of 
another set of voyages to the northwest coast — ^to the day 
of his death in 1779. 

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As already pointed out,^ matters were ripe by the end of 

the year 1771 for considering the project of opening a land 

route from Sonora to Alta California. In March 1772 when 

Bucareli learned of the discoveries made by Garc^ during 

his journey of exploration of the previous year he asked 

Governor Mateo Sastre of Sonora whether he thought it 

might be possible to reach Monter^ by land. Before he 

had time to carry his enquiries further he received a petition 

from the captain of Tubac, Juan Bautista de Anza, asking 

for the vicerojr's consent to make such an expedition himself. 

The author of this petition was one of the most remarkable 

men who ever appeared on the field of California history, 

and it is therefore worth while to pause and take account of 

his early career and his personality. Juan Bautista de Anza, 

like his f ath^ and grandfather before him^ was a member of 

the presidial aristocracy of the frontier provinces of New 

Spain. His grandfather had served thirty years at Janos as 

lieutenant and captain, and his father twenty years with the 

same rank at Fronteras, acting also as temporary governor 

of Sonora at one time. In the latter capacity he had merited 

and won general approval, especially by breaking up an 

Indian conspiracy in 1737. In that year an Indian named 

Arisivi claimed to be a herald of Montezimia, saying that the 

form^ Aztec monarch had come back to life to restore the 

Mexican Empire. Anza's father hanged Arisivi and several 

of his followers, which ended the revolt. His connection 

with the holas de plain incident and his death at the hands of 

the Apaches have already been referred to. The Anza who 

t At the close of Chapter XVIIL 


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now makes his bow was bom at Fronteras in 1735, and en- 
tered the service in 1753, taking part thenceforth (as he put 
it in 1770) in continuous warfare against the Apaches, Seris, 
Pimas, and Sibubapas. For the first two years he was a 
volunteer at Fronteras, serving at his own expense. On 
July 1, 1755, he became a lieutenant. He is mentioned as 
taking part in a campaign under Captain Gabriel de 
Vild6sola against the Apaches in 1758. On February 19, 
1760, he was promoted to the captaincy of the presidio of 
Tubac, but, owing to the death of Viceroy Amarillas, the 
appointment was not confirmed. There are references to a 
campaign by him in 1760 against the Seris and to another 
of 1766 against the Apaches. One of his principal achieve- 
ments was the subjecting of the Pdpagos, a tribe of over three 
thousand Indians, on which occasion he killed their chief 
with his own hand. He had made many campaigns in 
southern Sonora against the Seris and others of the Cerro 
Prieto, and according to Rubl he was the one who contri- 
buted most to reducing the Suaquis. In the military opera- 
tions of Elizondo, Anza was a conspicuous figure. In 1770 
he petitioned that the full rank of presidial captain be 
accorded him, mentioning some of the salient features of his 
record and stating that he had twice been wounded in the 
service and had participated in fourteen general engage- 
ments, besides a^'number of lesser ones. Though his petition 
was endorsed by Juan de Pineda and Domingo Elizondo 
(his immediate chiefs) and by Viceroy Croix it was not at 
that time granted. 

There is an overwhelming array of evidence to the effect 
that this young man, who had already proved himself a 
great Indian-fighter, was also an officer of unblemished 
character and unusual abilities. Simple and self-contained 
in manner and speech, generous of spirit, dignified in bearing, 
he exemplified on his intimately personal side the delightful 
qualities of the Spanish cavalier. As an officer he was kind 
and just to his men and prompt and energetic in action. 
Strong-bodied and courageous, he was also cool-headed, re- 
sourceful, self-reliant, and tactful, but above all was a man, 

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of initiative and enterprise. Among those who voiced their 
approval of Captain Anza was the Marqu^ de Rubf, who 
recorded his opinions at some length in 1767. After re- 
coimting Anza's services Rubf says that 

%y reason of his activity, valor, zeal, intenigence, and notable 
unselfishness he is an all*roimd good officer, worthy of being dis- 
tinguished by His Majesty in remuneration for his services and 
as a stimulus to others." 

More directly to the point were Rubf's remarks in praise of 
Anza as a result of the former's inspection of Tubac. Not 
only Anza's accounts but also the declarations of his soldiers 
showed that he had never done anything prejudicial to his 
troops, but, on the contrary, had always treated them liber- 
ally; he had actually reduced prices for them, displasring a 
generosity which, according to Rubf, was very rare in the 
frontier provinces. Because of Anza's just administration 
many people had come to live at Tubac, to the great ad- 
vantage of all that section, eaid Rubf, a fact which might in 
the future permit of transferring the presidio to a more ad- 
vanced point, affording greater opportunity for discoveries 
and for reducing the Apaches.' ' 

The discovery of a practicable route to Alta California 
seems from early boyhood to have been a life ambition with 
Anza. Spurred on by the tradition of his father's proposals, 
he and another officer planned an expedition to the Colorado 
in 1756 (when Anza was twenty-one). The governor of 
Sonora at first looked with favor on the project, but sub- 
sequently changed his mind. When G^vez came to the 
province in 1769 Anza asked permission to make an expedi- 
tion, at his own expense, to cooperate with Portold, whom 
the visitador had just despatched to the north from Baja 
California. Gdlvez was impressed by Anza's idea, and 
meant to have it carried into effect, but was obliged to with- 
hold his consent for the time being, due mainly to the 
superior pressure of the Seri wars. Before he could take 

* At some time before 1763, Ansa No further record of his funfly life 
married the sister of Jos^ Manuel has yet been disoorered. 
pfas del Carpio, chaplain of Tubac. 

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action his health failed. Even after his return to Mexico 
City he and Croix seem to have considered the plan, but both 
of them left the country too early to put it into execution. 

As soon as it became clear that the visitador had departed 
from New Spain without authorizing an expedition, Anza 
addressed himself to Bucareli, who had only recently become 
viceroy. His letter, dated May 2, 1772, concerned itself 
mainly with the numerous evidences for belief in the exist- 
ence of a feasible route from Sonora to Monterey, referring 
among other things to the reports about Portold and his men 
which had come to Garc^ and himself from the Indians 
of the Gila and Colorado. He asked permission to make his 
long projected expedition of discovery, taking Garc^ and 
twenty or twenty-five of his own presidial soldiers with him. 
Knowing full well that he could expect suitable reward if 
successful, he offered to pay the entire costs of the expedi- 
tion, save only the wages of his men and the salary of Garc^. 

Bucareli sought the opinions of various men, including the 
engineer Costans6 and the fiscal Areche. These two men, 
whose reconmiendations concerning the development of a 
supply route from Sonora have already been quoted, were 
strongly in favor of Anza's project. Nevertheless, a junta 
(which met on October 17, 1772) was not ready to authorize 
an expedition; in particular it desired such further informa- 
tion as Garc^ and Governor Sastre could give. Bucareli 
acquiesced, and again the matter was postponed. In due 
time the desired reports were obtained. Garc6s enthusias- 
tically backed up Anza's project. Sastre,-who had written 
independently (before he heard of Anza's proposal) in favor 
of a somewhat similar plan, was inclined to throw cold water 
on the idea as now set forth by the captain of Tubac; doubt- 
less no little jealousy was at the basis of his reply. 

Meanwhile, as already recorded. Father Serra had reached 
Mexico City in February 1773, and it was only natural that 
Bucareli should turn to him for advice. Serra's replies, 
though the viceroy did not see fit to present them to the 
junta, are worthy of record, for they must have reinforced 
Bucareli's own decision. Wb reports were mainly valuable 

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in pointing out the need for a route to Alta California by 
land, and especially in that he clearly demonstrated the 
inadequacy of the Baja California route. As for the Anza 
proposal itself, he had little to say, but believed it would be 
well worth imdertaking. There was yet another factor of 
undoubted weight with the viceroy, — ^perhaps the greatest 
of all, — and it too was not presented for consideration of 
the junta. This was the influence of the long-standing fear 
of foreign danger. 

At length a junta was again called, and on September 9, 
1773, delivered itself of a resolution favoring an expedition on 
much the same terms as Anza had proposed. Anza was to 
be empowered to select twenty volunteer soldiers for the 
journey and to take Father Garc^ and another religious 
with him, meeting all the expenses of the march himself. 
He was to exercise the greatest care to make friends with the 
Indians he should meet, for it was appreciated that their co- 
operation would be necessary if the fullest results from the 
discovery of a route were to be attained. He was not to 
establish any settlement, but was to go direct to Monterey 
and back. Four days later, on the 13th, Bucareli issued a 
decree putting the resolution of the junta into effect. 
Theoretically the assent of the king was still necessary, and 
it was obtained under date of March 9, 1774. On that day 
Anza was already well on the march to Alta California, and 
by the time the royal pronouncement was received in 
Mexico he must have been nearing Sonora on his return. 

Anza wasted no time in making ready for the expedition, 
though he met with many discouraging setbacks, such aa 
Apache raids in the vicinity of Tubac and, not least of all, 
the jealous opposition of some of his fellow-officers of the 
frontier. Meanwhile his hopes for success were rendered 
almost certain when he learned that an Indian had just made 
his way from San Gabriel in Alta California to Altar, Sonora. 
This Indian, Sebastidn Tarabal by name, had gone to the 
northern province originally from Baja California, and had 
been placed at San Gabriel. At length, he ran away, hoping 
to reach the Colorado River and thence go to his old home 

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In the peninsula. His wife and brother, who accompanied 
him, died of thirst in the Colorado Desert, but Tarabal 
managed to get through, coming to Altar in December 1773. 
Clearly, therefore, some sort of route existed. Tarabal was 
added to Anza's party in the belief that his services as guide 
might be of value. He attached himself to Father Garcfe, 
and accompanied that intrepid explorer in all his wanderings 
during the next seven years. 

On January 8, 1774, Anza set out from Tubac, With him 
were Father Garc6s and Father Juan Dfaz, twenty volun- 
teers from his presidio, an Alta California soldier named 
Juan Valdez, Tarabal, a Pima interpreter, and eight other 
Indians (five muleteers, two servants of Anza, and a car- 
I)enter) , — thirty-four in all. Thirty-five pack loads of provi- 
sions, sixty-five head of cattle driven along for food, and a 
hundred and forty horses made up the material equipment 
of the expedition. The story of the march is told by Bolton 
in the following terms: 

''Turning southwest, Anza crossed the divide and descended 
the Altar River, through the Pima missions to Altar. Obtaining 
horseshoe iron, a few fresh horses, some ill-fed mules, — 'stacks of 
bones/ he called them, — and provisions, on January twenty- 
second he made his final start from Caborca^ the last Spanish 
settlement between Sonora and Mission San Gabriel (at Los An- 

"To the Gila-Colorado junction, home of the Yumas, the trail, 
though difiicult, had been made familiar by Kino and Garc6s. On 
his approach to the junction Anza heard the discouraging news 
that a part of the Yumas were hostile and were planning to mas- 
sacre his party; but the rumor proved unfounded, for the Span- 
iards were wannly welcomed by Chief Palma and a throng of 
nearly naked Indians. Crossing the Colorado and descending 
its right bank a few leagues, at Santa Olaya Lake the expedition 
neared the edge of the great waste of sand dunes called the Colo- 
rado Desert. 

"Here began the real test of Anza's mettle. As they neared 
enemy territory the Cojat guides misled the Spaniards and then 
deserted. On the fifteenth of February, with the Indian Tarabal 
now guiding, Anza reached the terrible dunes, where the shifting 
sands had completely obliterated the trails. Before night the 
pack mules were so used up that Anza decided that their burdens 

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must be lightened, and he proposed to send half the packs back to 
Palma's village with part of the soldiers and one friar. Garc^ 
objected and Anza yielded. Encountering now a great mountain 
of sand which the tired mules could not even attempt, Anza turned 
south toward a hill near which Garc^ thought was the large 
village of San Jacome, which he had visited three years before. 

"But no village could be foimd. Both Garc^ and Tarabal were 
now completely lost in the sea of sand dunes; the animals were 
played out; part of the horses had been made ill by eating a 
noxious herb; there was no near prospect for either water or 
pasturage; in short, there was nothing for Anza to do but to 
retreat to Santa Olaya. Even this was most difficult, and before it 
was accomplished several horses and mules had died. But after 
seventy-five miles of wandering, at the cost of six days, Santa 
Olaya was again reached. 

Anza now changed his plans. Instead of attempting to cross 
the dunes, he would turn southwest and go aroimd them. Since 
it had proved impossible to continue with all his train, he left 
part of his men and baggage with Palma. Even this step was haz- 
ardous, for Palma's friendship had not yet been fully tested. 
With the rest of the men, the strongest horses, the ten b^ mules, 
and provisions for a month, on March 2 Anza again set forth. Six 
days of hard riding took hun to good springs and pasturage near 
the foot of the Sierra Nevadas. Garc^ and Tarabal both recog- 
nized the locality. The success of the enterprise was now assured 
and the event was celebrated. 

"Four more da3rs northward and two northwestward took them 
to a pass in the Sierra Nevada mountains called San Carlos. Here 
the sight was cheered by a view which repaid all the hardships of 
the journey. There were green plains, snow-capped peaks, live- 
oaks, and rivulets which ran west to find their outlet in 'the Phil- 
ippine Ocean,' as Anza called it. In spite of frequent rain and 
snow the descent was relatively easy, and at sundown, March 22, 
they reached Mission San Gabriel, after a march of seven hundred 
miles from Tubac. Their arrival was haUed by the four surprised 
missionaries and the small guard with the ringing of the church 
bells. Anza had found a way from Sonora to the sea. Continuing 
to Monterey, and returning over his former route, he reached 
Tubac on May 26." 

It is but natural, perhaps, that, as the discoverer, Anza 
should describe the route with undue enthusiasm. It was a 
good route, he said, entirely practicable for the sending of 
supplies. The Indians were weak in a military way, and the 
Yiunas alone were numerous. Father Diaz's report supplied 

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a needed corrective in pointing out that the friendship of the 
Yiunas could not be relied upon unless settlements were 
established among them at an early date, and without their 
aid, he said, the route could not be utilized at all, except by 
large forces. The Franciscans in Alta California were de- 
lighted over the discovery. As Father Palou put it, various 
kinds of domestic animals could now be sent from Sonora, 
and if that were done the permanence of the new province 
would be assured. Bucareli also was greatly pleased. He 
felt that the Anza route was better than the one up the 
peninsula, though the use of supply-ships would still be 
necessary. He was especially gratified by the cordiality of 
the Yumas, for he understood the importance of their co- 
operation, and he was pleased too with the way Anza had 
conducted himself with them and indeed during the whole 
period of the expedition. At his recommendation Anza was 
promoted to a lieutenant-colonelcy, and each of his men was 
granted extra pay for life. And in very truth, if achieve- 
ments are to be measured by their results, they were richly 
deserving of reward, for out of their discovery flowed con- 
sequences which decided the course of Alta California 

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Anza's successful march of 1774 was the signal for action 
on Bucareli's part to utilize the newly discovered route to 
the full. Before he had an opportunity to do so, however, 
he set on foot numerous other measures, to strengthen Alta 
California within itself and also as against the possibility of 
foreign attack. These plans culminated in his projected 
occupation of the port of San Francisco and the two rivers 
(now called Sacramento and San Joaquin) which for many 
years the Spaniards termed by the single name of the River 
of San Francisco. Not only did Bucareli wish to keep these 
important strat^c points from falling into enemy hands, 
but he thought of using them also as a base for further north- 
ward conquests. 

The local situation in Alta California between Ansa's de- 
parture from that province in the spring of 1774 and his re- 
turn at the close of 1775 presented the same features as those 
already described for the period immediately preceding. 
Conversions of Indians and increase in domestic animals and 
crops proceeded at the normal rate, but were by no means 
great enough to relieve the needs of the province. A start 
toward white settlement was indeed made, but it was on too 
small a scale to change the state of affairs materially. In 
other words, the province lacked precisely those things 
which it was designed to furnish by use of the Anza route. 

The b^innings in real colonization just alluded to were 
provided in connection with the despatch of Rivera to 
Monterey to succeed Fages as governor. Rivera got to- 
gether fifty-one persons in Sinaloa, of all ages and both 
sexes, — ^possibly half a dozen or more families, besides a few 
unmarried men. Crossing to Baja California, he found 
difficulty in supplying his small expedition, and therefore 


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went on ahead himself to Alta California in order to send 
back provisions-7-an interesting proof of the inadequacy of 
the peninsula as a source of supply for the northern province- 
Rivera had been ordered to cooperate with Anza, but when 
he got to Monterey^ in May 1774, the Sonora captain was 
already nearing his presidio on the return journey. On 
September 26, 1774, the families that Rivera had left be- 
hind in Baja California reached San Di^o. Thus did the 
first real settlers come to Alta California, since for the first 
time white women set foot in the province. Though their 
whiteness of skin was undoubtedly tinged with Indian red, 
they were suitable wives for a limited number of soldiery 
and by their children were able to contribute yet more to the 
permanence of the colony. 

As already mentioned, Bucareli repeatedly gave orders 
for the exploration and occupation of San Francisco, but it 
was not until November 1774, when some of the newly- 
arrived colonists got to Monterey, that Rivera felt strong 
enough in forces to ob^ the viceroy's commands. Between 
November 23 and December 13 he made a somewhat per- 
functory expedition to the Golden Gate, returning with the 
perfectly good excuse that the season was too far advanced to 
do anything toward an eventual settlement, owing to the 
winter rains. In the summer of 1775 Ayala made his thor- 
ough exploration of San Francisco Bay. Heceta had also 
been instructed to enter the port on his voyage down from 
the north, but missed it in the fog. In September 1775 he 
led a small party overland from Monterey. Having com- 
plied with the letter of his instructions, he at once returned. 
Nothing had been done, therefore, to pick out a site for 
settlement, erect buildings, or found the two proposed mis- 
sions, but, thanks to Ayala, there was no longer any doubt 
about the value of the port itself. Meanwhile, preparations 
were being made under the guidance of a man who could get 
things done, the intrepid commander of Tubac. 

Several months after returning to Tubac from his first ex- 
pedition, Anza made his way to Mexico City to report to the 
viceroy in person. During November and December 1774 he 

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consulted with Bucareli, and plans were drawn up and 
adopted for a second expedition on a large scale, designed to 
meet the needs of Alta California, especially to put the 
province on a sound and permanent basis and to saf %uard it 
from the danger of foreign attack. Anza was to take with him 
thirty married soldiers and their families, besides ten more 
soldiers as his personal escort to Alta California and back. 
Domestic animals of the kind most needed in the province — 
notably those for breeding purposes and beasts of burden — 
were to be driven along. The crowning event of the expedi- 
tion was to be the founding of two missions at San Francisco, 
for which the married soldiers were to serve as a guard. It 
was almost a year before Anza's preparations were complete. 
Meanwhile Bucareli was busy with a nimiber of related pro- 
jects, such as the voyages of 1775 to the northwest coast and 
the internal problems of the frontier provinces and the two 
Califomias. There is no question, however, but that he 
r^arded Anza's expedition as the most important measure 
of all, as indeed it was. 

Anza recruited most of his colonists from families ''sub- 
merged in poverty" in Sinaloa. Gathering his company at 
Horcasitas, he proceeded to Tubac, where on October 23, 
1775, the whole force got under way. The roster of the 
the expedition as it left Tubac is worth quoting: 

Lieutenant-Colonel Anza 1 

Fathers Font, Carets, and Eixarch 3 

The purveyor, Mariano Vidal 1 

Lieutenant Jos^ Joaquin Moraga 1 

Sergeant Juan Pablo Grijalva 1 

Veteran soldiers from the presidios of Sonora ... 8 

Recruits 20 

Veterans from Tubac, Anza's escort 10 

Wives of the soldiers 29 

Persons of both sexes belonging to families of the 
said thirty soldiers and four other families of 

colonists 136 

Muleteers 20 

Herders of beef-cattle 3 

Servants of the Fathers 4 

Indian interpreters 3 

Total 240 

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Of the thirty soldiers who intended to remain in Alta Cali- 
fornia, Lieutenant Moraga was the only one unaccompanied 
by his wife. Anza's care of this mixed assemblage made his 
expedition one of the most remarkable in the annals of ex- 
ploration. Starting with a party of 240, he faced the hard- 
ships and dangers of the march with such wisdom and 
courage that he arrived in Alta California with 2441^ No 
fewer than eight children were bom in course of the expedi- 
tion, three of them prior to the arrival at Tubac. The day 
of the departure from Tubac one mother died in childbirth — 
the only loss of the whole journey, for even the babes in 
arms survived both the desert and the moimtain snows. 
When one thinks of the scores that lost their lives in the 
days of '49 over these same trails, Anza's skill as a frontiers- 
man stands revealed. Furthermore, over a thousand animals 
were included in the expedition. The loss among these was 
considerable, but enough of them lived to supply Alta Cali- 
fornia's long-pressing want. 

A very heavy equipment was taken along, all of it, even 
the ribbons in the women's hair, being provided at govern- 
ment expense. Anza had warned the viceroy that it would 
be necessary not only to do this but also to pay the men in 
clothing and outfit instead of cash, since they were habitual 
gamblers. Of such seemingly impromising materials were 
the men who, certainly without their knowledge, were about 
to play a part in one of the most important acts on the stage 
of American history. 

The prices of their outfit are enough to make one sigh for 
''the good old days." Petticoats, relatively, were expensive; 
they cost about $1.50 (12 reales)* each. Women's shoes 
were $.76 (6 reales), and so too women's hats! Each woman 
got six yards of ribbon, at $.12 a yard. Boys' hats were 
only $.50 (4 reales) apiece, but girls' hats were the cheapest 
of all; the girls were supposed to require nothing more than 

^ Nine persons remained at the 6^ cents. Since, however, it has 

Colorado-Gila junction, after cross- seemed best in this volume to calcu- 

ing to the Alta California side. late the peso as equivalent to a dollar, 

^The reaZ^ of which there were eight the reed should be counted as 12]^ 

to a peaOf IS ordinari]v reckoned at cents. 

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the hair of their heads. And so it went; for men, women, 
and children clothing of every sort and kind, arms, riding 
horses, and rations were provided, and all at what now seems 
to have been an astonishingly low cost. One undemocratic 
note is to be observed. The fare of the thirty families was of 
the plainest, and its estimated cost for the entire expedition 
amomited only to $1957. On the other hand Anza and 
Father Font were to have such edibles as beans, sausage, 
biscuit, fine chocolate, a barrel of wine, cheese, pepper, 
saffron, cloves, cinnamon, oU, and vin^ar at a cost of 
$2232.50 — ^more than the expense for the thirty families. 
Anza protested against this allotment when it was proposed, 
but it may be imagined that his objections were somewhat 
perfunctory, for the arrangement was entirely in accord with 
the ideas of the day.* 

Descending the Santa Cruz River to the Gila, Anza went 
down that stream to its junction with the Colorado. This 
route was much better than the one he had taken through 
Papaguerfa in 1774, but, though there was plenty of water, 
fodder was scarce. After a inarch of thirty-seven days he 
reached the junction, having been delayed en route by sick- 
ness of the expeditionaries, especially on occasions when 
childred were bom, for, as he put it, it was not possible for 
the mother to ride on horseback "for four or five days" 

A serious problem presented itself on his arrival at the 
jimction toward the end of November 1775. Anza found 
that the Colorado had deepened at the place where he crossed 
in 1774, so that now it was impossible to get over, even 
though it was the season when the river was low. It was also 
impracticable to use rafts, for the Ymnas would have to 
swim with them in order to guide them, and the water was 
then too cold ; at any rate not more than one raft a day could 
be handled, and there was danger that that might be upset. 
And the Yimias knew of no other ford. There promised to 
be a long delay, but Anza himself made a morning's search, 

*A translation of the document tion is dven in Chapman, T^/ound- 
listing the eauipment of the ezpedi- ing cf Spanish Calyomia, 461-46& 

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and found a place where the river divided into three shallow 
branches. It was necessary to clear a way through the 
thickets, however, for it was impossible to get by them on 
horseback. This done, Anza got his entire expedition across, 
after a wait of but a single day. 

The stay among the Yumas, who were as demonstratively 
friendly as they had been the year before, was signalized by 
a famous gift to Chief Palma which BucareU had sent to him 
in the name of the king. This Indian's devotion to the 
Spaniards was suitably rewarded, at least in the eyes of his 
tribesmen, when he received a sleeveless cloak of blue cloth, 
lined with gold, a jacket and trousers of chamois-skin, two 
shirts, and a cap with a coat of arms like that of the Spanish 
dragoons. Pahna was greatly pleased, and reiterated the 
requests that he had made in 1774 for the sending of Spanish 
missionaries. Garc6s and Eixarch remained among the 
Yumas, but their object was an extended exploration of that 
vicinity rather than the immediate conversion of the 
Indians. The three interpreters and four servants of the 
original roster stayed with them. 

After a stop of a few days, Anza again went forward, 
leaving the near-by camp at Santa Olaya on December 9. 
Profiting by his former experience, he crossed the Colorado 
Desert with comparative ease. He spUt his forces into three 
divisions, with orders to march on different days, so that the 
water-holes might have time to refill. The third division, 
under Moraga, alone met with hardships out of the ordinary. 
They encountered intense cold; Moraga himself suffered 
severe pains in the head and ears from which he later became 
totally deaf. Ahead of them lay the mountains 

"full of snow to such a degree," said Anza, " that we would not 
have believed so much could be gathered together.'' 

To the people of the warm southland it was indeed a terrify- 
ing prospect. 

On December 19 the dread ascent began. For the next 
eight days, until they had passed the summit and started 
down the other side, the march was most difiScult and de- 

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pressing. It rained or snowed almost continually, and the 
weather was extremely cold. One of the women chose this 
period to be delivered of a child, but after only one day of 
rest the expedition pushed on, though slowly. On the 26th 
they felt an earthquake shock which lasted four minutes. 
It was on the next day, however, that they went over the 
summit of the pass, and hope revived as the climate and 
country grew more and more deUghtful. Without special 
incident they now hurried on to San Gabriel, which they 
reached on January 4, 1776. 

Without knowing it, Anza and his party had very 
nearly encountered a danger at least as great as any they 
actually experienced, a danger which also threatened the 
very existence of the Spanish settlements in Alta California. 
The Indians of the San Diego district had always shown a 
disposition to be unfriendly to the Spaniards, though they 
had early learned to have a wholesome respect for Spanish 
weapons. When at length the missionaries began to be 
successful in their eflPorts, the unconverted Indians in the 
neighborhood (for there were eleven villages which had 
steadily resisted Christianity) took alarm. They felt that 
their native customs were doomed unless they could either 
annihilate or expel the dread invader. Their runners com- 
municated these views to their many kinsmen across the 
southern end of the province, urging a concerted uprising. 
Messengers came even to the Yumas, for the San Diego 
Indians and the many tribes eastward to the Colorado were 
all members of the same great Yuman family. While some 
promised support and others were sympathetic, the Yumas 
would not rise against the Spaniards, due to the good treat- 
ment they had received at the hands of Anza. The reputation 
Anza had acquired among the Yumas was probably all that 
saved him from being attacked on his march to San Gabriel; 
to the childlike savage the Spaniards of Anza's following 
were very different from those who had settled permanently 
in Alta California. As he neared San Gabriel, however, 
Anza had noticed some evidences of native unfriend- 

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Meanwhile the unconverted Indians of San Diego, in 
collusion with mission converts, had gone ahead with their 
plans, and at last arranged for a sitnultaneons attack on the 
mission and presidio (which were several miles apart) for 
the night of November 4, 1775. What with missionaries and 
soldiery there were twenty-two Spaniards in all, eleven at 
each place, but four of those at the presidio were sick and two 
others were in the stocks. All were bHssfully unaware of the 
danger, and it seems even that no guards were placed. 
Shortly after midnight the Spaniards at the mission were 
aroused by the yells of hundreds of Indians, who had already 
set the building on fire. As the little party tried to escape 
they were greeted by clouds of arrows. Father Luis Jayme 
was seized and dragged away, then beaten to death. Later 
his body was found horribly mutilated and pierced by eigh- 
teen arrows. The other men took refuge in an adobe store- 
house, defending themselves desperately. Not one of them 
escaped wounds, but they did such execution with their 
weapons, especially one among their nimiber with a sus- 
piciously Irish-sounding name. Corporal Rocha, that at day- 
break the Indians withdrew. Father Jayme and one other 
had been killed, and a third man died of his woimds several 
days later. 

Fortimately the plan to attack the presidio had miscar- 
ried, and the men there must have slept peacefully through 
the night, for they were unaware of the conflict which had 
raged so bitterly only a few miles away. The first they 
knew of it was when the wounded heroes of the mission fight 
came next morning to the presidio. The Indians hesitated 
to attack again, and thereby lost their chance of success. 
Soon Ortega came in with a few soldiers whom he had taken 
with him to found the new mission of San Juan Capistrano. 
The founding of that mission was postponed, and Ortega's 
men remained at San Diego. The situation would still have 
been serious, but for the arrival of Anza from Sonora. 
Rivera had only seventy men of his own in the province, and 
these were scattered among five missions and two presidios 
over a range of more than four hundred miles. The governor 

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hurried south from Monterey, and had good reason to be 
glad upon his arrival at San Gabriel when he learned that 
Anza's expedition was approaching that mission. 

Anza's orders called for him to proceed to San Francisco 
without delay and found the settlements, but he recognized 
that the San Diego revolt was a superior emergency. Not 
only did he lend Rivera twenty of his veterans, but even 
went the length of waiving his superior rank and consent- 
ed to accompany Rivera to San Diogo and assist him all 
he could. On January 7, 1776, therefore, the two com- 
manders left San Gabriel with a little force of thirty-five 
men, not knowing what they might have to encounter. 
It seemed to them not unlikely that San Diego had been 
wiped out and the garrison massacred and that they them* 
selves would have to confront thousands of hostile natives. 
Fortunately, Ortega had been able to tide over the crisis, 
and their arrival on January 11 definitely saved the situa* 
tion. At about the same time two Spanish ships came in 
from San Bias, and not long afterward Bucareli sent 
twenty-five more soldiers to Alta California. By this time 
the Indians believed that the Spaniards were coming almost 
from the skies to pimish them, and they became afraid. 
There was no longer any thought of revolt; indeed, the 
position of the Spaniards was strengthened by the failure of 
the San Diogo outbreak, for the Indians felt from this time 
forth that it was impossible to throw out their conquerors. 

The authorities were generally agreed that Anza's arrival 
had turned the scale, — "providential," Bucareli called it, 
"just as if he had come from Heaven.'' Men of that day 
knew, too, how grave had been the danger. Latter-day 
historians have been altogether too prone to r^ard the 
hostility to the Spaniards on the part of the California 
Indians as a matter of small consequence, since no disaster 
in fact ever happened. Its real import appears, however, 
in the light of such events as the Yiuna massacre of 1781 
(to be taken up in a later chapter). As compared with the 
Yuma uprising that of the San Di^o Indians had much 
fewer difficulties to encounter. The Yumas were a small 

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tribe of about two thousand and were close to the Spanish 
frontier, where it was possible to assemble hundreds of 
soldiers at short notice. On the other hand the San Diego 
plot involved untold thousands of Indians, being virtually 
a national uprising, and owing to the distance from New 
Spain and the extreme difficulty of maintaining communica- 
tions a victory for the Indians would have ended Spanish 
settlement in Alta California, — and the eventual loser would 
have been the United States. 

It soon became apparent that there was no fiu1;her imme- 
diate danger at San Diego, wherefore Anza was eager to 
carry out the viceroy's orders, which had been given both 
to him and to Rivera, for the founding of settlements at 
San Francisco. The dilatory governor could not be moved; 
so, after a wait of a month, Anza resolved to proceed without 
him. Leaving twelve of his troopers with Rivera, he de- 
parted for San Gabriel. There he was obliged to despatch 
Moraga with ten soldiers in pxursuit of five deserting mule^ 
teers, who had run away with some of the best horses of 
the expedition. Anza then set out with a number of the 
families up the coast, and after a march of nearly three 
weeks through driving rains reached Monterey on March 
10. Moraga, who had successfully apprehended the de- 
serters, came up later with the remainder of the families 
and their equipment. 

While he was at Monterey, Anza became very sick, and 
nothing the doctor could do seemed able to relieve his 
pain. At length Anza determined to apply some remedy of 
his own, and this proved to be helpful, but he was far from 
well when he announced that he would wait no longer and 
would go at once to explore the site of San Francisco. Taking 
only a few men with him, and leaving the families at Monte- 
rey, he set out for San Francisco on March 23. Upon arrival 
he made a thorough-going survey, finding water, fire-wood, 
and timber, and marking out the places for the later estab- 
lishments. For a presidio he picked a site which the Span- 
iards called the Cantil Blanco (White CliflF), near where 
Fort Scott now stands. He selected a place for the mission 

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along a little rivulet, which he named Dolores (Throes of 
childbirth — of the Virgin Mary), — so-called because that 
was the name of the day he visited it in the religious calen- 
dar, March 29; this was the origin of the name which event- 
ually superseded the one the Spaniards first applied to 
designate the mission. Though rarely given to enthusiastic 
comment, Anza had now seen enough of San Francisco to 
speak of it and the famous port in terms of warmest 
praise. Father Font was even more expressive of his delight. 
"The port of San Francisco is a marvel of nature," he said, 
"and may be called the port of ports." 

Anza had also been instructed to explore the River of 
San Francisco beyond the point reached by Fages in 1772. 
Accordingly he marched aroimd the lower end of the bay, 
and proceeded up the eastern shore to the junction of the 
Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers and southward up the 
latter to a considerable distance beyond the place Fages had 
visited. From a hUl he clearly discerned that the two rivers 
had widely separate courses, but was unable to determine 
the secrets of the great valley which they traversed; indeed, 
Font later recorded his beUef that for the most part the 
valley was a great lake, studded with islands. Instead of 
following the route by which he had come, Anza plunged 
boldly into the hills, and emerged near the present Gilroy 
Hot Springs, whence he made an easy march to Monterey, 
arriving there on April 8. 

The time had now come for Anza's departure. He had 
fulfilled the orders of the viceroy insofar as he could without 
the cooperation of Rivera, though for the lack of it he had 
not been able to establish the settlements at San Francisco. 
Indeed, prior to Anza's exploration of that port Rivera had 
sent orders for the colonists to erect houses for themselves 
at Monterey and to abandon the projected foundations 
at San Francisco for that season. Anza was disappointed, 
but felt that he could not undertake the work by himself, 
since Rivera, after all, was governor of the province. So he 
decided to take his leave. On April 14 he departed from 
Monterey to the accompaniment of the tears and lamenta-^ 

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tions of the settlers, who had learned to revere and love him 
in the course of their long march from Sonora. 

The next day Anza received a letter from Rivera, whose 
party was then approaching Anza's on the way up from San 
Diego. In this missive Rivera answered a much earlier 
letter from Anza, and announced abruptly that he would not 
join him in making the establishments at San Francisco. 
The messenger told Anza that Rivera was in an evil temper 
and would not even look at a letter which Anza had just 
sent to him. A little later the two parties met. Both leaders 
saluted, and then, without a word, Rivera put spurs to his 
horse and rode on. Not long afterward Rivera sent word 
to Anza that he was returning, and asked him to wait for 
him at San Luis Obispo, so that they might have a confer- 
ence over the various matters which had been entrusted to 
them. Anza consented and waited. Two days later he re- 
ceived word from Rivera postponing the interview until 
they should reach San Gabriel. Even the patience of a saint 
might well have been exhausted by this time. Yet Anza 
agreed to communicate with Rivera, but insisted that it 
should be in writing. Accordingly, during two days at San 
Gabriel they wrote letters back and forth. Afterward Anza 
and his escort started back over the trail to Sonora. Cross- 
ing the Colorado the great explorer looked upon Alta Cali- 
fornia for the last time. Though he did not even suspect it 
himself, his work, under the guidance of the great viceroy, 
was to have an enduring importance beyond anything that 
had ever happened in the history of the Califomias. 

Something yet remained to be accomplished, however, 
and it fell to the lot of Anza's capable Ueutenant, Jos6 
Joaqufn Moraga, to do it. With the departure of Anza, 
Rivera suddenly changed his mind about setting up the 
establishments at San Francisco, spurred on, no doubt, by 
the further peremptory orders of the viceroy, received at 
about that time. He therefore sent word from San Diego, 
whither he had gone, for Moraga to proceed to San Francis- 
co and erect a fort. Moraga got together his families of 
soldier-settlers, and, accompanied by Fathers Palou and 

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Camb6n, marched to San Francisco^ arriving on June 27. 
Only a few days later there occurred, on the opposite coast 
of North America, the first "Fourth of July" in United 
States history, when national independence was proclaimed. 
At the same time, Moraga and his men, quietly preparing 
their habitations, were taking an all-important step in the 
eventual acquisition of the Pacific coast by the descendants 
of the embattled farmers of the thirteen Atlantic colonies. 
On September 17 the presidio was formally dedicated, and 
on October 9 there was another solemn function, signal- 
izing the founding of the mission San Francisco de Asls. 
In January 1777 the second mission was established, this 
time at Santa Clara, near the present city of San Jose. 
Thus had the great port been occupied, and the vitally 
needed settlers, with their equally needed herds of domestic 
animals, were now in Alta California to stay. For the first 
time it was possible to say that the province had been 
placed upon a permanent basis. There was no longer any 
likelihood that it would be abandoned and left open for 
another power. 

Two men had contributed more than any others to bring 
this about. One of them was the gallant ex-captain of Tubac. 

"As the successful leader of the first party of settlers to the 
coast," says a recent historian, ''Anza's position is unique. Only 
a man of splendid abiUty and courage, and sublime self-confidence, 
coidd have sustained the fainting hearts of the timid women and 
children, encouraged them to endure the privations of the desert, 
or to face the terrors they thought they saw in the snow-covered 
summits of the San Jacinto Mountains, and the still greater ter- 
rors their fancies pictured in the far northern country to which 
they were going. We may find here and there a figure among the 
half-forgotten heroes who led their straggling immigrants across 
the plains and through the moimtains after 1842, that deserves 
to rs^ with him, but we shall look in vain for any in the Spanish 
history of the coast, unless we turn back to that of Juan Rodri- 
guez Cabrillo with his broken arm, holding his scurvy-stricken 
sailors to the work of examining the wintry coast southward from 
Cape Mendocino to his grave in the Santa Barbara Islands, and 
with his latest breath admonishing his successor not to give up 
the work," 

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Yet, back of Anza was that other great figure, Antonio 
Bucareli. The Anza expeditions had formed only the most 
important links in the chain of the viceroy's plans. He con- 
templated yet other action which would have developed 
Alta California still further and might have saved it for 
Hispanic America, though not for Spain, as surely as his 
achievements down to 1776 had prevented its eventual con- 
quest by England. Fortimately for the United States, his 
hand was removed from the control of frontier affairs late in 
1776, just when he was ready to go ahead. Thus the year 
1776 marked the culminating point in the Spanish conquest 
of Alta California. It remains to explain just why the oppor- 
tunity created by Bucareli was lost. 

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By 1776 the northwest coasts had been explored, Alta 
California placed on a permanent (though not very strong) 
basis by the success of Anza's second expedition and the 
founding of San Francisco, the Colorado-Gila region had 
become well known, Sinaloa had achieved a well-settled 
state, and Sonora seemed likely soon to do so. In that year, 
too, expeditions of Father Garc6s and of Fathers Domfnguez 
and V61ez de Escalante had contributed, negatively at least, 
to the solution of Spain's problems in northwestward con- 

Oarc63 had accompanied Anza to the junction of the 
Colorado and Oila, where he was to prepare the Yumas and 
other Indians in neighboring districts for the coming of 
missionaries and subjection to the Spanish crown. The 
first project of this indefatigable explorer was to visit the 
Indian tribes of the lower Colorado. This he did, descending 
the river to its mouth. Returning to the junction, he soon 
started north, up the Colorado, accompanied as usual by 
the Indian Tarabal. It then occurred to him that he might 
possibly find a better route to Monterey than the one across 
the Colorado Desert, but, being unable to procure guides, 
he struck off instead toward San Gabriel. Going along the 
Mojave River and through Cajon Pass, he was the first 
white man to traverse the route now followed by the Santa 
Fe Railroad. He remained at San Gabriel from March 24 
to April 9, 1776, when he made a fresh attempt to reach 
Monterey by an interior route. Proceeding through Tejon 
Pass to the vicinity of Bakersfield, he went on nearly to 
Tulare Lake. Here he turned back, and made for the Colo- 


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rado at the point where he had left it^ going probably 
through Tehachapi Pass. Once again he was blazing the 
trail for the Santa Fe, but he did not stop at the Colorado. 
Instead, he resolved to attempt another of his favorite pro- 
jects, — to reach Moqui from the west. By July 2 the tireless 
explorer had accomplished his object. As others had reached 
Moqui from the New Mexico side, this proved the existence 
of a route from Santa Fe to Monterey. Clearly, however, 
the route was too long and difficult to compete in usefulness 
with the one Anza had discovered. Retracing his steps, 
Garc^ reached his mission of Bac on September 17. 

At about the same time, Francisco Domfnguez and Sil- 
vestre V^lez de Escalante, two Franciscans of New Mexico, 
headed a party which went northwest from Santa Fe in the 
hope of finding the much desired better route to Monterey. 
Leaving on July 29, 1776, they at length reached northern 
Utah, whence they turned northwest. Finding no indica- 
tions of a route or no tradition of one among the natives, 
they returned to Santa Fe, arriving on January 2, 1777. 
Unquestionably, therefore, the Spanish line of effort lay 
along the Anza route, and centred strategically at the junc- 
tion of the two great rivers, though some hopes were still 
entertained that a good route might be found from Santa Fe. 

The route from Sonora to the Alta California coast had 
its share of geographical difficulties, including the Colorado 
Desert, but Anza had amply proved that they were not 
insurmoimtable. By far the most serious obstacle was the 
Colorado River, the passage of which was inextricably inter- 
woven with what was, after all, the principal consideration 
in Spanish joumeyings between Sonora and Alta California, 
— the relations of the Spaniards with the Ymnas. Anza's 
search for a ford in 1775 has already been related. The 
problem of the Colorado was even better illustrated by the 
incidents occurring at the time of his return in 1776. This 
time he got to the river in June, when the Colorado is high 
and swift. Though he now had but ten soldiers with him, 
with few effects, it took him two full days and parts of two 
others to get across, despite the fact that he had rafts at hia 

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disposal and the assistance of several hundred exp^ Yuma 
swimmers. Commenting upon this, Anza wrote in his official 

''On another occasion I have said that if the peoples who dwell 
along this great river are attached to us we shall effect its passage 
without excessive labor, and that if they are not, it will be almost 
impossible to do so." 

Thus Anza, if indeed he continued to overestimate the con* 
stancy of Yuma friendship, made it perfectly clear that a 
good disposition of the Yumas toward the Spaniards was a 
prerequisite to any effective use of the route. Bucareli 
grasped this fact, and probably understood the Indian situa- 
tion better than Anza himself. There was need for haste 
before the ardor of the Yumas should cool. 

In season and out. Father Garc6s had been recommending 
the establishment of presidios and missions not only at the 
junction of the Colorado and Gila, but also at various other 
sites along the Gila. In March 1775, in conjimction with 
Father Diaz, he prepared a long memorial in favor of his 
plan, pointing out that it could be put into effect at slight 
cost through a judicious shifting of presidial forces. Among 
the advantages, in addition to the temporal and spiritual 
conquest of the Gila country, were the prospects afforded 
of providing an effective defence on the Sonora frontier 
against the Apaches, protecting the Anza route to Monterey, 
and developing a base for the discovery of new routes to 
both Alta California and New Mexico. Hugo Oconor, 
commandant-inspector and virtual ruler, xmder Bucareli, of 
the entire frontier, favored the project, and recom- 
mended the adoption of Garc6s^ suggestion to suppress the 
presidios of Horcasitas and Buenavista in southern Sonora, 
where at the time there was little to do, and transfer them to 
the Gila and Colorado. Other leading officials gave similar 
opinions, and Bucareli himself was impressed by the plan. 
He therefore procured authority from Spain to go ahead with 
it at the proper season, but meanwhile awaited the outcome 
of the second Anza expedition. 

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Upon his return from Alta California in 1776, Anza pro- 
ceeded to Mexico City, taking with him Salvador Palma and 
several other Ymna chieftains. During their stay at the 
capital; many attentions and honors were heaped upon these 
savages from the north, and they in turn begged earnestly 
for the establishment of missions among them. This was the 
time, if any, to strike! The imperative necessity was well 
expressed by Father Garc^. 

''I am of the opinion," he- said, ''that if the matter of missions 
on the Gila and Colorado is cdlowed to cool . . . there is danger 
that all will be lost and that the Yumas may be the first to enter a 

Bucareli was prepared to act at once, for he held the same 
views, and expressed himself to that effect on various oc- 
casions. Just at the vital moment, his hand was withstaid, 
for late in 1776 the new government of the frontier provinces 
was created apart from the viceroyalty and independent 
of his control. 

In January 1776 Juli&n de Arriaga died, and his place as 
Minister General of the Indies was shortly afterward granted 
to Jos6 de G41vez, now become Marqu^ de Sonora. Gdlvez 
set about at once to erect the commandancy-general of the 
frontier provinces which he himself had planned in 1768. 
The entire frontier, including the salients of the Calif omias, 
New Mexico, and Texas, was comprised in the new govern- 
ment, which was to be independent of the viceroy. As might 
have been expected of G41vez, the whole document estab- 
lishing this change displayed marked interest in the Cali- 
fomias, of the strategical importance of which the Minister 
General was fully aware; indeed, a continuance of the north- 
westward advance was almost the basic idea of the docu- 
ment. The capital was to be at Arispe, Sonora, because that 
post lay midway between Nueva Vizcaya and the Califor- 
nias, though far to the west of the geographical centre of 
the new conmiandancy. The preservation, development, 
and advancement of Alta California were specifically alluded 
to as important ''in the service of God and of the king," 
wherefore the commandant-general was ordered to visit 

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that province as soon as possible and to secure its line of 
communications with Sonora. Orders were also given to send 
more settlers and cattle there and anything else that might 
be needed to aid in its development and protection. It is 
worthy of comment that the Pacific province alone received 
extended notice in the royal decree. Whole paragraphs 
dealt with Alta California, while not a line referred exclu- 
sively to Nueva Vizcaya and the provinces of the east. 
Furthermore, in later decrees, G^lvez repeatedly ordered the 
commandant-general to give his attention to the Califomias. 
Of such a tenor was his letter of March 6, 1779, in which he 

''His Majesty . . . orders me to reiterate to Your Excellency 
the charge that you view those establishments [the Califomias, 
but more particxilarly Alta California] with the preference and 
attention which their importance merits.'' 

Since San Bias lay well within the viceroyalty, Gdlvez called 
upon Bucareli to continue his handling of the supply-ships, 
for the Minister General realized that their services to the 
Califomias could not yet be dispensed with. 

The decree just described was dated August 22, 1776, but 
it was not until the following January that it was possible 
to put it into effect. The plan itself was commendable and 
in line with the needs of the situation, but it necessarily 
meant the postponement of action which Bucareli was about 
to take, since he no longer had jurisdiction. All would have 
been well if Gdlvez had made a wise selection for the post of 
commandant-general. He chose to appoint one of his own 
satellites, who neither at the time nor thereafter grasped 
the importance of the movement which Gdlvez himself had 
started and Bucareli carried on. The full effect of their 
efforts was to be lost through the mistakes of Gdlvez's 

Teodoro de Croix, the first commandant-general, was a 
nephew of the Marques de Croix, the former viceroy. He 
had been employed by Gdlvez during the latter's residence 
in New Spain, and seems to have displayed some ability 

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in his capacity as a subordinate carrying out specific orders. 
His competence was to show forth in somewhat similar 
fashion in his management of the frontier. The afifairs of 
Texas^ which province he visited in person at the outset of 
his administration^ he took care of with considerable skill. 
In later life, too, he seems to have been a moderately suc- 
cessful viceroy of Peru — at a time when there were few 
grave problems to solve. Nevertheless, there seems to be 
little if any reason to modify the following characterization 
made of him in a recent work. 

"Serious-minded and industrious he certainly was, as is attested 
by the many voluminous, well-ordered reports that he made on 
the state of the frontier provinces, and also by the very tone of 
his letters. As a first assistant to somebody else, or even as ruler 
in a reakn where there were no serious difficulties to encounter, he 
would have been a marked success, but as a leader in the frontier 
provinces of New Spain he lacked the broad vision to compass 
the whole range of his duties. While working hard to settle some 
one problem, he was apt to let the others take care of themselves, 
or try to have somebody else handle them, certainly as regards 
matters affecting northwestward advance. In fine, Croix was a 
hard-working, painstaking, well-meaning, but rather stupid 

Far from observing Gilvez's commands to visit Sonora 
and Alta California as soon as he could, Croix devoted him- 
self to other things. Reaching Mexico City in January 
1777, he remained there until August, getting information 
about his new government and forming his plans. As might 
have been expected from a man of his calibre he felt it in- 
cumbent upon him to devise something which would differ- 
entiate his policies from those of Hugo Oconor and the 
viceroy. The former prepared a long report for Croix, in 
245 paragraphs, giving an account of his own work as com- 
mandant-inspector since his appointment in 1771, and 
making a number of general recommendations. In particular 
he urged that the presidios of Horcasitas and Buenavista 
be transferred to the Colorado and Gila rivers, as Bucareli 
had ordered, and that the route to Alta California be kept 
open. He also made suggestions about fighting the Apaches 

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which showed his own understanding of the unity of the 

Croix paid small heed to this advice. With the removal of 
a strong guiding hand from frontier affairs, Indian uprisings 
b^an to occur in Sonora, during Croix's long residence in 
Mexico City, though they were by no means of more serious 
character than Oconor and Bucareli had been wont to cope 
with successfully. Croix at once cast into the discard the 
plans looking toward securing the northwestward conquest. 
The removal of the two presidios to the Gila and Colorado 
rivers was abandoned, entailing also a postponement in 
establishing the missions for which the Yumas were clamor- 
ing. Anza, who had been appointed governor of New Mexico 
with a view to the exploration of new routes to Monterey, 
was detained by Croix and sent to Sonora to suppress the 
Seris. Furthermore, Croix made impossible demands on 
Bucareli for two thousand troops, and, failing that, for the 
means with which to raise a thousand. His own tendency 
to dodge responsibility appears in one of his letters to Gdlvez 
in which he said that he certainly was not going to Sonora 
imtil he could have soldiers enough to overcome the evils 
from which that province was suffering. Yet, he said, he 
regarded the affairs of Sonora as his most important con- 
sideration, but precisely on that account he was going to 
Coahuila and Texas first! His explanation that this would 
permit of his remaining in Sonora, once he arrived there, 
sounds rather lame in the light of bis harrowing description 
of the existing situation. 

Not only did Bucareli have no authority to grant Croix 
such reinforcements as he asked for, but it was incompre- 
hensible that the commandant-general should have expected 
them. The total number of troops then in the frontier 
provinces was only about two thousand, and the addition 
of even a few himdreds would have been matter for debate 
by the authorities in Spain, owing to the increase in expense 
it would involve. Bucareli did give Croix two companies of 
cavalry, but declined to grant him any more. Croix there- 
upon complained to Gdlvez, but the Minister General in- 

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evitably sustained the viceroy. When Croix should obtain 
personal knowledge of the state of the frontier provinces, 
G^vez wrote to him, the king would determine how many 
soldiers were necessary. The implied rebuke struck home, 
and the question of reinforcements was dropped. 

In August 1777 Croix at length left Mexico City. Going 
by way of Quer6taro and Durango, he proceeded to Coahuila 
and Texas. By March 1778 he had recrossed the Rio Grande 
and reached Chihuahua in Nueva Vizcaya. There or in that 
vicinity he remained for more than a year and a half. Not 
until November 1779 did he reach Sonora, and he never 
visited the Califomias or even the region of the Gila and 
Colorado. Not only had he failed to carry out Gdlvez's 
orders, but he had also become absorbed in the affairs of 
the northeastern frontier, which alone he knew, giving at- 
tention to the west so far as it bore upon the problem of 
Apache wars, but not much otherwise. Meanwhile, what of 
Sonora, the Califomias, and the security of the Anza 

Sonora itself had suffered little if at all from Croix's 
neglect. Anza reached Horcasitas in May 1777, and handled 
the situation with his customary energy and ability. He 
found the Seris in rebellion and several other tribes on the 
verge of revolt. He put down the Seris, and then the others 
decided to keep the peace. Apache incursions still took 
place, but he had not been expected to overcome that 
perennial evil. It is worthy of note — ^in the Ught of Croix's 
later bad treatment of Anza — ^that the commandant-general 
referred to Anza's work in terms of the highest praise. In 
March 1778 the internal difficulties of Sonora were suffici- 
ently well in hand so that Anza was able to join Croix at 
Chihuahua, whence he proceeded to his government in New 
Mexico. Arrived in New Mexico he infficted a decisive defeat 
on the Comanches, the most troublesome Indians of that 
province. In this battle, which occurred in 1779, the Co- 
manche chieftain was killed. He was given no opportunity, 
however, to carry on the discoveries toward Alta California 
which Bucareli had intended he should make. 

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The CaIifonua43 suffered irreparable harm through Croix's 
failure to make use of the Anza route, but in other respects 
the local situation was well handled, in spite of Croix's 
neglect. As abready mentioned, Bucareli had given orders, 
late in 1776, providing for the needs of Alta California. 
Fortunately, too, there was a man on the ground who was 
able to carry out the viceroy's plans and to act on his own 
initiative when occasion called. This was FeUpe de Neve, 
greatest of the Spanish governors of Alta California. As 
he came to the province from Baja Califomia he was able 
to inspect most of the territory under his command on his 
way to Monterey, which he reached in February 1777. He 
ioon made a trip to San Francisco, and thus at the outset 
acquired personal information of the whole range of his 
government. Having satisfied himself as to the needs of the 
province, he lost no time in communicating his views to 
Bucareli, for he had not yet heard of the establishment of 
the commandancy-general. 

Prior to Neve's arrival the mission of San Juan Capistrano 
had been founded, in November 1776, and that of Santa 
Clara in January 1777. Neve proposed the addition of three 
more missions along the Santa Barbara Channel, together 
with a presidio. He also wished to form civilian settlements 
{pvsblos) on the Santa Ana, San Gabriel, and Guadalupe 
rivers and to increase the forces at San Diego, Monterey, and 
San Francisco. For these purposes he wanted fifty-seven 
fully equipped soldiers, who should be recruited in Sinaloa 
and should bring their families with them, and sixty families 
of laborers, including artisans of various kinds. He also 
went into detail as to the equipment these recruits should 
have and the number and kinds of domestic animals (to be 
procured in Sonora) that it would be desirable to send with 

Upon receipt of Neve's suggestions, together with letters 
from Rivera and Serra, Bucareli sent the correspondence 
to Croix. Croix was at that time preparing to leave Mexico 
City for the north, and so returned the file to Bucareli with 
a request that he attend to the matter. This called forth a 

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noteworthy reply from the viceroy, dated August 27, 1777. 
It was not in the power of either Croix or himself, he rer 
minded the former, to change royal orders at will. Hence, 
since the Calif omias were in Croix's jurisdiction, he was 
sending back the papers. He went on, however, to give Croix 
information about the Calif omias and to tell him what he 
himself would do, if still in charge. Neve's suggestions 
should be adopted, even though they involved additional 
troops and more expense, for these matters, in Bucareli's 
opinion, should take precedence of others in Croix's juris^ 
diction. There should be additional missions, too, in both 
Califomias and along the Colorado and Gila rivers, so that 
there might be no gaps in the chain of communication with 

Thus did Bucareli reiterate the opinions he had long held 
about the importance of the Califomias and the Anza route. 
Had the matter lain within his jurisdiction he would, 
almost certainly, already have taken the action which he now 
recommended to Croix, but under the circumstances he was 
powerless to do anything. His zeal for the royal service and 
his magnanimity were also most creditably displayed in the 
advice that he gave and in the courteous manner that he 
offered it. 

Unwilling to take immediate action on Bucareli's sug- 
gestions, Croix referred the matter to three Sonora oflBcers, 
and then hied himself off to Texas. Not until September 
1778 did he get around to consider Neve's proposals again. 
In a letter to Gdlvez about the matter he was petulant and 
lacking in sympathy with the subject. He complained of 
Bucareli's refusal to handle the Califomias for him, but did 
not accoimt for his own failure to adopt the suggestions of 
the viceroy. Anjrway, he said, the more he read about the 
Califomias, the greater was his own confusion of mind with 
respect to their affairs. Nevertheless, he had decided to 
approve Neve's projects, but would wait until he got to 
Sonora before attending to them. 

So here was another matter that Croix had put off. But 
Felipe de Neve was not a man to do nothing while awaiting 

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official authorization. So far as his resources would permit, 
he proceeded to put into e£fect the measiu'es he deemed 
important. Croix's one merit in the management of the 
Califomias lay in the fact that he approved anything that 
the governor actually got done. In November 1777 Neve 
founded a settlement on the Guadalupe. Acting on his own 
initiative, without any mandate from Croix, he took fifteen 
families from Monterey and San Francisco, and made a 
beginning of the pueblo which has since developed into the 
city of San Jose. He also started in to prepare a new regla^ 
mento for the Califomias, basing his action on an order issued 
to Bucareli several years before by JuU^ de Arriaga. In 
a long report to Croix, Neve pointed out that Alta California 
soldiers were in fact receiving only forty per cent of the 
salary theoretically allotted them. Furthermore, they were 
being paid wholly in clothing, effects, and provisions at an 
advance, to allow for costs of carriage, of 150 per cent be- 
yond the prices charged in Mexico City. Thus they were 
getting some sixteen per cent of what their full salary would 
have purchased in the capital of the viceroyalty. The situa- 
tion was rendered yet worse because the execution of the 
existing reglamento was even more defective than the law 
itself. Naturally, service in the province was not popular; 
indeed, it was asking a great deal of these men merely to 
live in this far distant locality, away from the activities to 
which they had been accustomed in the regions from which 
they had come. Neve urged that his troops be given the 
same pay as the soldiers of other frontier provinces and that 
some of it be in cash. Under those circumstances, he be- 
lieved, the men would be contented, and others could be 
induced to come. 

Neve's memorial making these and indeed many other 
suggestions crossed a letter from Croix asking him to draw 
up a reglamento. The governor therefore prepared the famous 
dociunent which is usually called by his name, completing 
it on June 1, 1779. In this he embodied the provisions of his 
earlier memorial to Croix, and in his remitting letter an- 
nounced^ characteristically^ that he was putting his region 

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mento immediately into effect^ subject to such later changes 
as Croix might make. The Neve instrument was eventually 
approved, and was henceforth employed, together with the 
earlier documents already mentioned, as the administrative 
basis for the government of the province during the re- 
mainder of the Spanish era. 

Meanwhile, Bucareli's influence had not been entirely 
removed from the Califomias and San Bias. In 1776, prior 
to the establishment of the commandancy-general and before 
Bucareli seems to have known that it was contemplated, 
news came from Spain of English preparations to send out 
Captain James Cook on the third of his now well-known 
voyages to the Pacific. According to Spanish information 
he was planning to visit the Califomias with a view to 
opening up trade relations, and was intent also on the dis- 
covery of a sea route between the Atlantic and the Pacific 
by what the English called the "Northwest Passage,'* 
making an attempt for the first time, so far as the English 
were concerned, to accomplish this aim by sailing from west 
to east. The viceroy was ordered to take such precautions 
as might cause Cook to fail. Bucareli's reply, dated June 
26, 1776, is one of the most important documents in the 
history of Spain's efforts along the northwest coast. It is 
also almost identical in spirit with his already mentioned 
letter of July 1773,^ notably in its lack of alarm, if also in 
its readiness, nevertheless, to take appropriate action. The 
remarkable activities of the viceroy against possible foreign 
danger since 1773 have already been indicated. In all 
probability he would have displayed a like energy and re- 
sourcefulness to forestall this new peril; almost surely he 
would have strengthened the Califomias by developing the 
land route thereto, but imder the circiunstances he had no 
authority to do so. 

By special enactment of the decree providing for the 
commandancy-general, the management of the supply-ships 
had been left within the jurisdiction of the viceroy. This 
difficult problem Bucareli continued to handle with success 


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during the remainder of his term. He was also ordered to 
take charge of a fresh series of voyages to the northwest 
coast. Overcoming such handicaps as those abeady men- 
tioned in dealing with the affairs of San Bias, he equipped 
two ships, which set sail from San Bias in February 1779. 
Ignacio Arteaga and Juan de la Bodega, in command of these 
vessels, made a careful exploration of the Alaska coast, and 
found neither Russians nor Englishmen, though there was 
in fact a Russian settlement on Kadiak Island which they 
barely missed. Upon their return a royal order was issued, 
in 1780, calling for a discontinuance of such voyages. 

Meanwhile, the great viceroy, Antonio Bucaxeli, had 
answered the last call. On April 9, 1779, after fourteen years 
of service in the colonies, he died, still in harness and far 
away from his beloved Spain, to which for many years 
he had wished in vain to return. To the end, his career had 
been one of solid achievement with respect to those matters 
that had been left in his charge. For the Califomias he had 
been xmable to do much after 1776, but he had already ac- 
complished enough to entitle himself to lasting remembrance 
on the part of Califomians. He had saved Alta California 
from abandonment, and in so doing, quite unknown to him- 
self to be sure, had preserved that province and the Pacific 
coast for the ultimate occupation of the United States. 
The inevitable further result of his policies, if he had been 
empowered to carry them out to the full, would have been 
to keep Alta California at least for the peoples of Hispanic 
race. Thus it is, that if he helped the United States at (very 
likely) the expense of England, he was in no wise at fault 
before his own people for the failure to add yet another 
great area to the future domination of republican Hispanic 

Mexicans rememl)er Bucareli, not indeed for his exploits 
in connection with Alta California, but for his high character 
and his aehievements affecting regions now within the area 
of the southern republic. An important thoroughfare in the 
Mexican capital bears his name^ Of far greater consequence 
is the fact tha* he was buried in the sacred church of Gua- 

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dalupe, where he has a tablet commemorating his work. This 
place is to Mexicans all that Mecca is to Mohanmiedans, or 
Jerusalem to Christians in general. As many as 100,000 
pilgrims have been known to visit it on a single day. In 
this great shrine, which associates itself with Mexican 
nationalism, — ^with the Indians who resisted Cortfe and 
the patriots who at length won independence, — the grave 
of Bucareh is the sole reminder of Spanish domination. 
Truly the memory of Bucareli "will never be erased from 
the heart of Mexicans.'' Thus has one of the greatest and 
best of the viceroys found a worthy resting-place. And to 
Califomians the church of Guadalupe should have a new 

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Teodoro de Croix's neglect to go ahead with the project 
for establishing settlements on the Gila and Colorado 
which Bucareli had planned is not to be ascribed to indo- 
lence; most of all it was due to an imperfect understanding of 
the situation, wherefore he was more impressed by another 
plan of his own devising. He felt that it would be quite a 
feather in his cap if he could bring an end to the Indian 
wars and in particular reduce the Apaches Therefore he 
proposed to inaugurate a general campaign, making use of 
friendly Indians, as well as all available Spanish soldiery, 
in the achievement of his ends. In the light of this grandiose 
scheme the smaller undertakings which Bucareli had 
favored were either lost sight of by the commandant- 
general or else reduced to insignificant proportions. Croix's 
policy was to be yet another instance of the old, old story 
of the man who is dazzled by the brilliancy of his own con- 
ceptions, but who misses essential details, and leaves behind 
him a record of failure. 

As early as July 1777, Croix dropped the plan for settle- 
ments along the two rivers, and decided instead merely to 
send Garc6s and another religious to the Yumas. That, he 
believed, would be enough for the time being, since Chief 
Palma and the Yuma fighting men would have to join in 
Croix's general campaign against the Apaches. Furthermore, 
he felt that it would be a waste of money to foimd missions 
along the Gila, since the warriors would be absent and the 
old men, women, and children (who would alone remain 
during the course of the war) would be little inclined 
to conversion. No precise date was set when Garcte should 


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found the proposed mission among the Yumas; indeed, it 
was several years before Croix got around to give the matter 
a modicum of his attention. When at length he did interest 
himself, he seemed to be more concerned with making a 
record for economy than with the security of the settlements 

Meanwhile, Croix failed to grasp the significance of a 
principle which he himself had subscribed to, when it was 
expressed to him by Father Juan Morf i, one of his principal 
advisers. In making an argument against such undertakings 
as the Domlnguez-V61ez de Escalante expedition Morfi had 
pointed out that missionaries were accustomed to tell the 
Indians of the wealth of the king and to make offers of 
Spanish friendship; the Indians could not comprehend the 
descriptions of Spanish cities, since they had never seen 
any, and when nothing came of the promised gifts and 
friendship, they were apt to bethink themselves of the 
ragged, half-starved missionaries who had told them these 
tales, and serious consequences were likely to occur. Neither 
Croix nor Morfi seems to have applied this generalization 
of the latter to the case of the Yumas, though it exactly 
fitted the facts. 

The Yumas could not understand the long delay in sending 
them missionaries. To their simple, childlike minds, the 
introduction of Christianity meant gifts of trinkets and 
tobacco, such as they had received from Anza, and they 
were at first disappointed and later resentful when the ex- 
pected boon did not come. Chief Palma, the Spaniards' 
friend, began to lose influence among them, and repeatedly 
requested the authorities in Sonora to hasten the plans for 
the missions; in 1778 he himself went twice to the presidio 
of Altar to urge the matter. 

It was as a result of Palma's solicitations that Croix, who 
had not yet reached Sonora, decided at length, in 1779, to 
act. In February he issued orders for Garcfe and anpther 
missionary to go to the junction and establish a mission 
among the Yumas. Garc6s requested a military escort of at 
least twelve soldiers, who should be married men and should 

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take along their wives, thus reducing the likelihood of trouble 
with the Yumas through the rough attentions which other- 
wise the soldiers would pay the Indian women. Garc^ also 
emphasized the importance of providing a liberal quantity 
of gifts for the Yumas, of non-interference with their lands 
and crops, and of sending a number of well supplied and well 
equipped permanent settlers. The governor of Sonora 
acceded in principle to most of GarcAs' requests, but would 
not permit the soldiers' wives to go (lest the Indian men 
covet them), and left it to Croix to decide about the set- 
tlers. Moreover, he in any event had scant funds at his 
disposal, even for the small party which was to accompany 
Garc^ at the outset. Croix presently changed his mind, 
and sent orders to hold back the expedition. Before they 
were received in Sonora, however, Garc63 had already d^ 

In May the stun of 2000 pesos had been advanced to 
Father Juan Dfaz, who had been selected to accompany 
Garc63. With the purchase of presents for the Indians, 
mules, and certain necessary equipment this fund was soon 
exhausted. In August the two friars and their little army of 
twelve men started, intending to go by way of Papaguerfa 
to the junction. The rainfall that year had been so sli^t 
that the route proved unusually difficult. Garc63 decided, 
therefore, to take two soldiers and push on, leaving the rest 
of his force at Sonoita. In due time he reached the junction, 
but arrived with his provisions very nearly exhausted and 
without the supply of gifts for the chiefs which was almost 
a prerequisite to the establishment of friendly relations. 
As it was the season for planting, the Yimias were much 
scattered, so that in any event he could not proceed with the 
establishment of the mission. In letters of September 2 to 
Governor Corbaldn and to Croix he pointed out his wretched 
plight, and asked for a grant of 300 pesos, to be devoted prin- 
cipally to gifts for the Indians, such as beads, shoes, and 
cloth. This was essential to success. Funds were also abso- 
lutely required for the building of houses and payment of 

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A month later, on October 2, Dfaz came up with the rest 
of the soldiers. By this time Garc6s had gained a clear under- 
standing of the cQfficulties of his situation. The Yumas did 
indeed want to be converted, but it was only because they 
beUeved it meant all manner of presents for them from the 
Spaniards. Other tribes in the vicinity were equally clamor- 
ous for that type of material Christianity, and were not a 
little jealous of the preference shown to the Yumas. To 
bring the Yumas in truth under the dominion of the church 
was going to be a much harder task than it had seemed in 
the days of the Anza expedition. Carets now realized, too, 
that Chief Palma had no real authority over the Yumas. 
He was only one of the many chiefs, and neither he nor any 
of the others had any power except in so far as the Indians 
wished to obey them. To add to Garc6s^ difficulties he found 
that the Yumas were eager to go to war with their neigh- 
bors. It required all the arts of persuasion in the gift of 
Chief Palma to keep them from doing so; the conflict was 
avoided, but the desire for it remained. Carets now felt 
that it would be impossible to maintain the Spanish settle- 
ment as it then was. Writing to Croix in November he urged 
that a second mission be founded and more settlers sent. 
He also pointed out the need for establishments among other 
tribes, so that the Spaniards at the junction might have 
recourse to them in case of danger. In particular he favored 
the foimding of missions along the Gila, supported by a 
strong miUtary escort to ward off the Apaches, since the 
Gila route was much better than the one through Papa- 
guerfa. With the addition of more troops, carefully se- 
lected from the standpoint of good character, and the 
grant of some further financial aid, all would turn out 
well, as the land itself was suitable for grazing and agri- 

Carets' situation at the junction grew steadily worse. 
Corbal^ refused him the 300 pesos he had asked for, without 
which Garc6s was unable to make a decent pretence of 
eflTective missionary work. Garc^s and Diaz agreed therefore 
that the latter should go to Sonora to explain in person to 

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the commandant-general the critical condition of the settle- 
ment. Yet the spirit of Garc63 was as strong as ever. In a 
letter of December 27 to Croix he rejoiced that the decision 
to suspend the Colorado-Gila establishment had not reached 
Sonora in time. The greater part of the next year was to 
pass, before the aid which Oarers had requested was 
to reach the junction. How the intrepid friar and his small 
body of soldiery held on is a mystery, but hold on 
they did. Garc6s certainly was not going to risk the failure 
of a project to which he had devoted the best years of his 

Father Diaz reached Arispe in February 1780, and pre- 
sented his petitions to Croix, who had by this time estab- 
lished his residence there. In the course of a month they 
reached an agreement as to what should be done; indeed, 
Croix accepted the plan which Dfaz proposed in substantially 
the form that the latter presented it. Oconor and Bucareli 
had wished to transfer the presidios of Horcasitas and 
Buenavista to the Gila and Colorado, but Croix felt that 
they could not be dispensed with at their existing locations. 
Instead of building two new presidios, he adopted Diaz's 
suggestion for a much cheaper type of establidiment, and 
boasted to Gdlvez of the greater economy of his plan as 
compared with that of Bucareli. 

Two settlements were to be founded at the junction, each 
of which was to combine the features of mission, presidio, 
and civilian town in one. One settlement was to have 
eleven soldiers, and the other ten, while four religious and 
thirty-two civilians (including artisans and interpreters) 
were to be evenly divided between the two. Married soldiers 
were to be selected, and it was agreed that their wives 
should accompany them. Croix had intended that the tem- 
poralities, or material wealth, of the missions should be 
administered by the commandant, but Diaz objected, hold- 
ing that they provided a fund which was essential to the 
success of missionary work. Diaz urged, however, that a 
special grant of 200 pesos a year should be made to the 
friars, asserting that that would be even better than their 

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retention of the temporalities. Croix readily consented, 
and the provision for the 200 peso grant formed part of the 
decree of March 7, 1780, which ordered the Dfaz plan, just 
described, to be put into effect. Furthermore, Croix wrote 
to Gdlvez that he intended also to secure the Gila route by 
founding a presidio at the junction of the Gila and San 

The resounding failure which was to be the fate of the 
settlements at the junction has been ascribed to Croix 
because of the so-called ''mongrel'' type of establishment 
that he founded — something that was not mission, presidio, 
or jmehlOy but a conglomerate of all — and because he took 
away from the friars the management of the temporalities. 
It is fitting to observe that there is an element of unfair- 
ness in these charges. It would seem that Croix's action, as 
of the time that he took it, was altogether appropriate. 
He did little more than approve the recommendations of 
Father Diaz, who had long been an adherent of Garc6s' 
views and was thoroughly competent to represent him. 
Indeed, it could not have been foreseen at the time that the 
settlements would fail. Contrary to what has so often been 
written, it was not the first time that similar establishments 
had been made in the Spanish colonies, and the expedient 
had been reasonably successful. If the wrong basis for 
imputing the Yuma disaster to Croix has been taken, he 
nevertheless deserves overwhelmingly to be held to account. 
The real criticisms that should be applied to him are that his 
delay in facing the problem had resulted in the loss of the 
moment when the Yumas were most kindly disposed and that 
by his failure to understand the situation when once he had 
undertaken the establishments, as witness his often expressed 
pride in the economies of his plan, he not only did not ward 
off impending evil but rather promoted it. 

Nowhere is Croix's failure to grasp the idea of the north- 
westward advance more clearly shown forth than in three 
monumental memorials which he prepared, dated as of the 
years 1780, 1781, and 1782, though the last was in fact 
ready before news came to the commandant-general of the 

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Yuma massacre in 1781.^ In all, the keynote was the war 
against the Apaches. Sonora received considerable space, 
but more especially with reference to the Apaches in the 
northeast, and to a lesser extent on account of the Seris. 
Each of these documents was intensely local in its point of 
view. There was not a word in them about the larger pro- 
jects which had engaged the attention of Gdlvez and Bucareli, 
— ^not a word about foreign aggressions along the Pacific 
coast, at a time too when they had become a fact. The Cali- 
f omias were not even discussed in two of them, and received 
a meagre and purely local attention in the other. On the 
very eve of the Yuma massacre, Croix was still priding him- 
self on the savings he was effecting by not placing a presidio 
at the junction of the rivers. In fine, if these documents 
(which are extraordinarily valuable to the historian for the 
affairs of the frontier provinces) are a tribute to Croix's 
painstaking thoroughness on the one hand, they are indis- 
putable proofs of his exceeding narrowness of vision on the 

Meanwhile the two colonies on the Colorado had been 
founded in the fall of 1780 on the Alta California side of the 
river. One of them, Purfsima Concepci6n, was set up near 
the junction, while the other, San Pedro y San Pablo de 
Bicufier,''was a little farther down. Trouble with the Yumas 
began almost at once. The enthusiasm which the natives 
had felt for the transient, gift-bearing Spaniards of Anza's 
day had long since left them. In addition, the Spaniards 
who now came among them to live were not slow in proving 
that they were not entitled to any halo. For example, they 
paid small heed to the rights of the Yimias in alloting lands, 
and their cattle ruined the native crops. When the provi- 
sions of the settlers became exhausted, the Yumas demanded 
exorbitant prices to supply them with more, which in turn 
enraged the Spaniards. The Yiuna chiefs now began to 
plot in secret against the colonists. Even Chief Palma, who 
had for so long been a staunch friend of the Spaniards and 

^ These memorials, m seen by the writer, contained respectively 248, 
856, and 1000 pages. 

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owed much of his exalted.prestige to their support, at last 
cast in his lot against them. 

In June 1781 the long-sought recruits for Alta California 
arrived from Sonora. There were forty families of them, in 
charge of Captain Rivera with an escort of some eleven or 
twelve soldiers. Here was to be enacted the last act in the 
life of the ex-govemor of Alta California. True to type he 
appears to have been more or less incomi>etent to the end. 
He had not been at all liberal with gifts, — though it is not 
clear whether the fault was Rivera's in not presenting them, 
if he had them, or Croix's in not supplying them in the first 
place, — and his cattle destroyed the mesquite plants of the 
Yiunas, thus fanning the flame of their discontent. The 
Yumas contained themselves until the forty families had 
departed, bound for the Alta California coast. Then 
the chiefs decided to act. 

Rivera and his escort had meanwhile recrossed the 
Colorado and encamped there, in order to strengthen their 
animals before proceeding on their way. They were still 
there when at last the long pent up wrath of the Yumas 
broke in full force against the Spaniards. On July 17, at 
about the same hour, the two settlements on the west bank 
were attacked in overwhelming force and destroyed. The 
two friars at Bicuner, one of who^n was Father Diaz, and 
most of the men were put to death. The same thing occurred 
at Purfsima Concepci6n, though Fathers Garc6s and Ba- 
rreneche were temporarily spared, only to meet the same fate 
as the others on the second day thereafter. The women and 
children at both places were held as captives. Rivera and 
his men, meanwhile, were just across the river, unaware, 
it would seem, of the dramatic happenings which were tak- 
ing place almost before their very eyes. On the day after 
the destruction of the settlements on the west bank, 
the Yimias fell upon the forces of Rivera, and killed them 
to the last man. One cannot help wondering whether 
Rivera had taken proper precautions. At one stroke, 
more than thirty Spanish soldiers and four friars had been 
massacred, — a disaster of almost imprecedented propor- 

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tioDS in the history of Spain's conquest of the northern 

In the light of the tremendous consequences of the Yuma 
massacre that event itself and the immediate aftermath pale 
into insignificance. Punitive campaigns were planned, and 
several expeditions were made during 1781 and 1782. The 
survivors were ransomed, but not much else was accom- 
plished. The saddest part of the whole affair was the blight 
which was put upon the career of that great explorer Juan 
Bautista de Anza, whom Croix made the scap^oat, though he 
himself was alone to blame. Ever since Croix's arrival in 
New Spain he had not tired of singing the praises of Anza. 
Anza in Sonora, Anza in Croix's councils at Chihuahua, 
Anza as governor of New Mexico, — always and imder all 
circmnstances he had received, as indeed he had merited, 
the commandant-generars praise. His great victory over 
Cuemo Verde, the Comanche chief, has already been men- 
tioned. He had not, however, made the projected explora- 
tion toward Monterey; indeed, Croix was not greatly in 
sympathy with the idea. He had nevertheless kept his hand 
in as an explorer by an attempt, in 1780, to find a direct 
route between New Mexico and Sonora, though he had 
emerged opposite Janos in Nueva Vizcaya instead of at the 
the place he had intended. 

Now Croix suddenly discovered (?) that Anza was not the 
man he had claimed him to be. Indeed, he insisted that 
Oarers and Anza had grossly exaggerated the facts in prais- 
ing the Yumas and their lands. Since Carets had met death 
in the massacre, Croix presently ceased to attack him, and 
confined his maledictions to Anza. The injustice of Croix's 
charges is apparent. Anza had stated that the route dis- 
covered by him would be impracticable if the Yimias were 
hostile or even unfriendly, owing to the difficulty of crossing 
the Colorado in times of flood. Garc^ had repeatedly urged 
the founding of a presidio at the junction of the rivers, and 
so had Anza; one of Croix's long memorials quotes Anza to 
that effect. Bucareli, Oconor, and Gdlvez himself had ad- 
vised Croix to take immediate action toward securing the 

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Alta California route. Croix alone was blameworthy because 
he had delayed too long, but he was not man enough to 
admit it. 

In January 1783 Croix called a junta of the leading officers 
then in Sonora to decide what action should be taken con- 
cerning the settlements at the junction. At this meeting 
appeared Felipe de Neve, who had just come from Alta 
California by way of the Anza route. Like Anza, he too was 
in fact nearing the end of his career, but though he was to 
die at the height of his reputation he tarnished his fame 
before the bar of history by joining in the campaign against 
Anza. He condemned the Colorado coimtry, saying it was a 
region of salt marshes and sand, with slight rainfall and 
scant pasture, — and this of a territory which now includes 
the Imperial Valley, one of the richest agricultural sections 
in the world I Neve, though fairly correct from a superficial 
standpoint, certainly erred in vision. The prevailing opin- 
ion of the junta was that the settlements at the junction 
served no useful piupose, since it would always be possible 
to use the route to Alta California if some thirty soldiers 
were sent along. As it would cause a heavy expenditiu^ to 
restore the settlements, it was held best to abandon the idea. 
With this decision, made by Croix and his advisers on Jan- 
uary 3, 1783, the Yiuna disaster, which might otherwise 
have been a local event of small consequence, took its place 
in history as a factor of far-reaching importance, for the 
land route to Alta Claifomia had been, and was to remain, 
closed. Before discussing it further, it is well to turn again 
to Anza, whose career henceforth was an unbroken record 
of undeserved misfortimes. 

Hugo Oconor, who had quarreled with Croix from the 
moment of the latter's arrival as commandant-general, had 
prophecied the Yuma disaster at about the time when in fact 
it had already happened. When he heard of this, Croix made 
haste once more to exculpate himself. If Anza had not mis- 
represented the country, he said, he himself would never 
have given orders for its occupatioin, and the massacre 
would therefore not have occurred. Even if true, which it 

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wasn't, this statement is in itself a condemnation of Croix 
in his failure to understand the problems of the Anza route. 
Croix was not long to remain on the scene, however. Late 
in 1783 he was promoted to be viceroy of PerdI 

Felipe de Neve now became commandant-general, and 
from the first displayed a venomous temper against Anza 
that is hard to account for, unless as the peevishness of an 
old campaigner, broken in health. It was the custom for 
Spanish officers to draw up an annual service sheet which 
at the same time gave an indication of their entire career. 
Neve ordered Anza to omit styling himself the discoverer of 
the route to Alta California, on the ground that that honor 
belonged to the Indian Taraball He also commanded him 
not to lay claim to the victory over Cuemo Verde, asserting 
that the credit really belonged to Azuela, Anza's subordinate 
in that fight ! Furthermore, he quarreled with Anza over his 
handling of New Mexican affairs, and asked Gdlvez for his 
removal, stating that he was incompetent. Very likely 
Croix was largely responsible for Neve's attitude. It is not 
probable that Neve ever read Anza's reports and diaries, 
which in fact represented the Colorado country with sub- 
stantial correctness; rather, he listened to the embittered 
Croix, eager to clear himself from blame and crying to the 
four winds of Heaven that Anza had misrepresented the 
situation to him. If Anza and Neve had been personally 
acquainted, the latter might better have judged his man, 
but the evidence of their annual service reports would tend 
to show that they had never met. 

Through all this misfortune Anza's conduct was ex- 
emplary. As a subordinate he was not in a position to re- 
sent Neve's insults. He met them, though, with a becoming 
dignity and clearness of explanation that would have con- 
vinced anyone who was not predisposed to an opposite view. 
Felipe de Neve, who deserves to be remembered as Alta 
California's greatest Spanish governor and not as a crabbed 
commandant-general, soon passed away. At length one of 
Anza's old companions, Jacobo de Ugarte, became com- 
mandant-general, and dared to come to Anza's defence. 

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He wrote to GAlvez in 1786 that Neve's opinion of 
Anza's government of New Mexico had been founded on 
the incorrect reports of the latter's opponents and that 
Anza had in fact merited praise rather than removal. 
This was a courageous letter under the circumstances. 
Croix's failure had been a defeat for the former viaitador, 
whose vindictive spleen has already been set forth; indeed, 
he had long since appointed a new governor of New Mexico, 
without in any way providing for Anza, who still re- 
mained in New Mexico, awaiting the arrival of his suc- 
cessor. Anza meanwhile petitioned for the governorship 
of a province in the viceroyalty, where he might pass the 
remainder of his days in freedom from hardships. Ugarte 
warmly espoused this petition, and Jos6 Antonio Rengel, 
who had once been temporary commandant-general and 
then occupied one of the highest positions in the northern 
provinces, wrote across the docmnent itself that he too en- 
dorsed it. Yet again, in 1787, Ugarte wrote to Gdlvez on 
behalf of Anza, this time urging that he be made governor of 
Texas. The evidence is not yet complete as to the result of 
Ugarte's efforts, but it isprobablethat nothing cameof them; 
certainly Anza did not become governor of Texas, and no 
record has come to light showing him in possession of any 
other post. He seems to have remained in New Mexico until 
1788, when at length his successor arrived. Thereupon Anza 
disappears from view. Thus did one of Alta Cahfomia's 
most intrepid heroes pass into undeserved obscurity. 

The Yuma massacre did not imdo the work of Bucareli, 
though it prevented it from coming to its fullest fruition. 
The great viceroy had saved the Spanish establishments in 
the north from failure, thus keeping that territory tem- 
porarily in the hands of Spain and checking the designs of 
the English and Russians, more particularly the former, for 
getting a foothold on the Pacific coast. Croix's negligence in 
handling the situation, which was primarily responsible for 
the Colorado disaster, brought the great forward movement 
in the growth of Alta California to a standstill, thus making 
it inevitable that neither Spain nor Spanish America should 

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retain the province in the north and that it should one day 
pass into the keeping of the United States. The American 
people, if most surely they will admire the character and 
deeds of the great man who would have prevented their 
ultimate expansion to the Pacific coast, may well feel glad 
that the favoritism of GAlvez brought forward Teodoro de 
Croix. Judged by results alone, Croix should be regarded as 
an American hero (!) of the first water. 

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It tximed out that the events of July 17 and 18^ 1781, 
settled the question of the development of Alta CaUfomia 
under Spam^ leaving the province to its own feeble efforts. 
The story may first be told how Spain came to accept this 
verdict; thereafter it will be possible to go back to the narrar 
tive of local events. 

The principal impulse for the Spanish advance had sprung 
from a fear of foreign encroachments; indeed, the prospect 
of danger in the far northwest had been greater than the 
fact, but that had been enough to stir Gilvez and Bucareli 
to action. Henceforth, the actual peril was to be greater 
than ever before; yet, Spain^s efiforts were in the inverse 
ratio, growing correspondingly less. It has already been 
pointed out that a fresh voyage to the north was made by 
Arteaga and Bod^a in 1779, after which orders were received 
to discontinue these voyages in the future. Events soon 
caused the Spaniards once more to take cognizance of the 
northwest coast. When Captain James Cook picked up a 
cargo of furs there in 1778 a new force came to the fore to 
affect the situation; henceforth there was an economic 
reason for foreign visits. An English captain named Hanna 
was the first to follow up this phase of Cook's discoveries. 
Coming from China, he reached North America in 1785, 
and recrossed the Pacific with a shipload of furs. In the next 
three years a host of Englishmen followed Hanna's lead. 
Meares, Tipping, Lowrie, Guise, Strange, Portlock, Dixon, 
Barclay, Duncan, Colnett, and Douglas were the leaders in 
these voyages; some of them came more than once. It was 
in 1788, too, that John Kendrick and Robert Gray, two 


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American commanders, came to the Pacific northwest, after 
a voyage of nearly a year from Boston by way of Cape Horn. 
Theirs was the first of a long series of voyages which were to 
make the "Boston ships," as the American vessels were 
called, famous in the annals of Alta California and the 
Pacific coast. In 1786 a famous French voyage of explorar 
tion, under the command of the Comte de Lap6rouse, passed 
down the coast to Alta California. Lap^rouse informed the 
Spanish authorities that the Russians had several establish- 
ments in the far northwest. It was this report that stirred 
the Spaniards to renewed activity. 

"With advantages superior to those of any other power, 
especially because of her near-by base of supplies, Spain al- 
most alone of the European and American peoples with in- 
terests in the Pacific did not participate in the fur trade. 
The intendant of the Philippines, Ciriaco Gonzdlez Carvajal, 
having heard of Hanna's voyage, recommended that the 
Spaniards should engage in the traffic, but the powerful 
Philippine Company threw cold water on Gonzalez's scheme 
and killed it. The reports of Lap^rouse were too definite 
to be disregarded, however. So in 1788 the Princesa and 
San Carlos under Esteban Jos6 artfnez and Gonzalo 
L6pez de Haro were sent to the north. This time the 
Russians were found; Martinez and L6pez de Haro reported 
that they seemed bent on pushing as far south as Nootka 
Sound, off the west coast of what is now called Vancouver 
Island. Information was also received that the English had 
pretensions to that port. Consequently, Martinez was sent 
out again in 1789. He found some English vessels at Nootka, 
and seized them and their officers and crews. When the news 
reached England, public opinion was so inflamed that the 
British government threatened war. Spain at first stood 
her ground, and appealed to France under the terms of the 
Family Compact. The great Revolution was already in 
full swing in France, and the government was in the hands 
of the National Assembly. This body acknowledged its 
obligations under the Family Compact, but imposed condi- 
tions to joining with Spain against England that the Spait- 

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ish authorities felt themselves unable to accept. As Spain 
could not hope to defeat England without French help, 
there was nothing to do but yield, as she had done twenty 
years before, to the English demands A treaty was s gned 
in 1790 by which Spain agreed to the right of the English 
to trade and even make settlements north of the Spanish 
estabUshments in Alta CaUfomia. English ships t\ ore also 
given permission to enter Spanish ports along that coast, 
though not to engage in commerce. This treaty was supple- 
mented by later conventions of the next few years, the virtual 
effect of which was to leave the region north of San Francisco 
Bay open to whichever country should settle it first. 

The y ar 1790, when Spain suffered defeat in the Nootka 
Sound controversy, may be taken as one of the great dates 
in the history of Spanidi colonization. It marks the b^in- 
ning of what may be termed the "defensive defensive," a 
defensive of a self-conscious, waiting kind, the inevitable 
outcome of which was defeat and disintegration. The new 
state of mind was well represented in a famous memorial of 
the Conde de Revilla Gigedo, viceroy of New Spain from 
1789 to 1794 and son of the former viceroy of the same name. 
Revilla Gigedo prepared a voluminous report on the his- 
tory of the Department of San Bias and the Califomias 
(including the far northwest) since 1769. The keynote of 
the document was the vast expense involved in the northern 
conquests. He praised Bucareli for what he had accom- 
plished, noting especially that he had been able to achieve a 
great deal despite a lack of sufficient fimds. Nevertheless, 
Revilla Gigedo believed that henceforth all costly , enter- 
prises of conquest should be looked upon at least with 
scepticism and probably with disapproval. 

"From now on there ought ... to be [an end] of such projects 
as compel us to incur heavy expenses, even if they may be recom- 
mended with the most positive assurances of advantageous results, 
for it is always understood that these results are to be in the future, 
whereas the expenditures have to come out in cash from a treasury 
that is full of urgent matters requiring attention and that is con- 
stantly cx)vering itself with considerable debts. Once its funds 
and those of the money-lenders are exhausted, the projects can- 

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not be sustained, their advantages will disappear, the return of 
the sums expended will be difficult, and perhaps it may be neces- 
sary to add still greater outlays, with the almost self-evident risk 
of their being yet more fruitless. In the course of twenty-five 
years many millions of dollars have been consumed in founding 
and maintaining the new establishments of Alta Califomia, in 
repeated explorations of its northern coasts, in [works at] the 
Department of San Bias, and in the occupation of the port of 
Nootka. But if we engage in other yet more distant and ven- 
turesome enterprises, there will be no funds left with which to 
sustain those that we have already taken upon ourselves/' 

Thus did the viceroy announce himself as in favor of retain- 
ing what Spain already had, but as opposed to following the 
policy in the future which had in former years brought about 
the occupation of Alta California. With a complacency that 
would have been strange indeed, twenty years before, he 
remarked that the Russians had settlements reaching south- 
ward almost to Nootka, but Spain had too few troops and 
ships of war and too scant funds to dislodge them. He did 
show some anxiety over the English, being especially afraid 
lest they try to gain a foothold near the Spanish colonies, 
with the object of engaging in illicit trade. It might be well, 
he thought, to occupy Bodega Bay (a little north of San 
Francisco) and possibly the mouth of the Columbia. He was 
opposed, however, to extending the Spanish dominion to the 
northern coasts, and favored ceding Nootka to the English; 
the Spanish occupation of such distant localities could only 
lead to foreign complications, and would most certainly 
cause heavy expense. 

Clearly, the Spanish Empire was on the defensive. In- 
deed, it did not even go so far as Revilla Gigedo had recom- 
mended. A weak attempt was made to occupy Bodega Bay. 
It failed, and the project was permanently postponed. 
Nothing else of any consequence as against the English and 
Russian peril seems even to have been tried. 

The spirit of the Spanish Empire had changed, but there 
were a number of contributing factors as afifecting the 
development of Alta California besides that of the dominant 
importance given to the need for economy, though they 

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were of about the same order (when not even less powerful) 
as in the days of the Spanish advance. The Indians of 
Sonora continued to be troublesome, especially the Seris. 
The Apaches, however, soon ceased to be the perennial thorn 
in the flesh they had always been. Between 1786 and 1797 
peace was made with different groups of Apaches. The 
Spanish government promised to give them various articles 
they could not make themselves, — even powder and guns, 
though of inferior quality. Secretly, also, the authorities 
planned to ply them with liquor, so as to demoralize them, 
and to encourage them to make war on one another, hoping 
that in this way they might become exterminated. At an 
annual cost of from 18,000 to 30,000 pesos the peace was 
maintained nearly to the end of Spanish rule. 

Another factor tending to check the use of the land route 
from Sonora, on which any appreciable growth of Alta Cali- 
fomia necessarily depended, was that of the rapid changes 
in jurisdiction of the various governments of the frontier. 
The conmiandancy-general did not remain as a single unit 
for the entire frontier. At times there were two com- 
mandancies, and once there were three. Occasionally, too, 
the viceroy's power was restored. After 1793 the Califomias 
remained under the viceroy and Sonora under some one or 
other of the commandancies until the downfall of the Spanish 
govenmient in America. This may help to account for the 
opposition of later commandant-generals to the reopening of 
the Anza route. It meant the making of an effort for the sake 
of r^ons beyond their frontiers and a divided authority 
over any route that might be opened. It must also have 
tended to make local concerns seem of more accoimt to them 
than the possibility of foreign danger. 

Thus was Alta California compelled to depend upon the 
inadequate services of the Department of San Bias, supple- 
mented by illicit trade with foreigners. In one respect the 
Anza route had already done its work; the provnce had 
reached a substantial footing as regards the nimiber and 
kinds of domestic animals it had. Agriculture, too, though 
of little variety, developed sufficiently to supply the scant 

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needs of the settlers. The principal lacks were in manu- 
factured articles, which had to be prociured elsewhere, and, 
most of all, in population. A few straggling colonists crossed 
over to Baja Calif omia from Sinaloa in later years, and came 
north to" Alta California, but the great majority of the in- 
habitants were descendants of those who had come between 
1769 and 1781. Prolific as they were in raising families, the 
Spanish Califomians could not by this means build up a 
population large enough to expand into the interior where 
the gold awaited them. Indeed, with the exception of 
Branciforte (Santa Cruz), not a single civil or military estab- 
lishment was founded after Felipe de Neve left the province. 
The total number of whites, mestizos, and mulattoes in 1790 
was about 970, and in 1800 about 1200. Since most of the 
men were soldiers, the population was economically unpro- 
ductive; the government quota for the army called for 206 
men. Indian labor, mostly at the missions, furnished the 
larger part of what the province supplied. In 1793 the 
Christian population of the two Califomias was estimated 
at 12,666. 

If the development of Alta California had been greatly 
desired, Sonora was more and more capable of supplying the 
sinews of advancement. Despite its frequently recurring 
internal difficulties and the expense of the presidial posts, 
the province was able to yield a profit to the government, 
even at a time when the salary of the commandant-general 
was charged against Sonora alone, instead of being ap- 
portioned over the entire frontier. Furthermore, it grew 
steadily in number of inhabitants. In 1781 Sinaloa and 
Sonora combined had a Christian i)opulation of 87,644; in 
1793, of 93,396; and in 1803, of 121,400. The greater num- 
ber was to be found in Sonora; for example, in 1781, Sonora 
had 52,228, or about 60 per cent. 

Several proposals were made to reopen the Anza route. 
For a time they were frowned upon, and in 1786 the viceroy 
went so far as to prohibit such a measure. Possibly because 
of the improvement in relations with the Apaches, there was 
a revival of interest soon afterward. In 1787 Pedro Fages, 

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whd had agaia t3ecome governor of Alta Calif omia in 1782 
(after Neve's departure) , suggested a comprehensive plan 
for the betterment of conditions in Alta California. His 
proposals were three in number: that four new missions 
should be erected; that carpenters, smiths, masons, and other 
artisans be sent to Alta California to instruct the Indians; 
and that a presidio be established at Santa Olaya (on the 
west bank of the Colorado, below the Gila junction), with 
connecting posts at Sonoita (in northwestern Sonora) and 
in the valley of the San Felipe (in Baja California, but along 
the Anza route). The first two proposals were viewed favor- 
ably, and in course of a few years were acted upon. The 
third met with varying response, but the consensus of 
opinion was against it, a view in which Revilla Gigedo con- 
curred when at length the matter came before him for 

The question of the land route was raised again in 1792, 
and in 1796 Diego Borica and Jos4 Joaquin de Arrillaga, 
respectively governors of Alta and Baja California, made 
suggestions independently of one another with that object 
in view. It is not necessary to follow the correspondence in 
detail, but it may be well to cite a memor al of the year 1801, 
in which Pedro de Nava, then commandant-general, set forth 
his opinions. The advantages of reopening the Colorado 
route, according to him, were two: the possibility of giving 
aid to the Calif omias in case of a foreign invasion; and the 
benefits of reciprocal trade between the Calif omias and New 
Mexico. As for the first, the route was known to exist, and 
could at any time be utilized, if a considerable force were 
sent along, but there was no need to keep it open unless a 
foreign attack should actually occur. As for the second, 
neither of the two provinces was far enough advanced to re- 
quire any new outlets for trade. 

The opinions of Nava prevailed. When the question came 
up in 1804 the matter of the route was decided in the 
negative. It is to be noted that the plans for developing 
Alta California by means of the route had received scant 
attention, — ^virtually none from Nava. Then why use the 

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route any longer? As Nava had said, it was there in case of 
need. Other proposals were made during the remainder of 
Spanish rule and, indeed, in the Mexican period, but nothing 
came of them. Fear of foreign aggressions in the Calif omias 
certainly continued, with ever-increasing justification, but 
the day of action had passed. 
The closing decades of Spanish rule in Alta California and 
J the quarter century of Mexican rule form one of those periods 

which is the delight of the poet and romancer. Life was less 
stirring than in other days, but on the whole was more agree- 
able. For twelve years of teeming activity, from 1769 to 
1781, the province had played a great part in history. For 
the next sixty-five years the Alta Califomians were to wit- 
ness but one positive factor of supreme historical importance, 
— ^the coming of the people who were to supplant them, the 
influx of the Americans, who were to find the gold and make 
California what it is today. Much went on in preliminary 
fashion, with a bearing on the ultimate American conquest, 
before the province was finally taken over, but that story 
belongs rather to the history of American California than 
to an accoimt of the dying days of Spain and the troubled 
era of Mexican control. All else that remains of Alta Cali- 
fornia history in this period is the local narrative, much of 
it picturesque, indeed, but a great deal of it only petty. 
And yet, though they could not have dreamed it, the Alta 
Califomians were filling the role which Bucareli had cast for 
them, — a rdle of deep significance and fraught with moment. 
Few as they were, imperfect as were their standards of 
civilized life, they were on the ground, and that in itself was 
enough to keep Alta Califomiasafe from foreign occupation, 
with its minend wealth undiscovered. They compelled the 
Englishman and the Russian to make the centreof their settle- 
ments farther north, within the immediate range of the 
profitable fur trade, instead of locating in Alta California as 
each of them wished to do. In this way the Alta Califomians 
virtually saved the intervening coast of Or^on and Wash- 
ington. They were the nneguanon'of the American occupa- 
tion. Americans may rejoice that they were there, and 

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people of other nationalities feel glad or sorry, according as 
their sympathies direct them, but, in the light of events as 
they occurred, who can say that the Alta Califomians did 
not play an important part in the history of North America? 
In justice, not anybody. 

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Best known of the names in Alta California history, even 
at the present time, is that of Jimfpero Serra, first Father- 
President of the Franciscan missions. Only a few years ago 
scarcely one in a hundred had heard of Bucareli, and not 
many more could have identified Gdlvez. PortolA had some 
slight vogue, but the much more important Anza, Garcfe, 
and Neve were obscurely recalled or completely forgotten. 
Though Serra was but one among a number who deserved 
well of posterity, it was largely due to his fame that not only 
his own achievements but those of his companions as well 
have at length been made known to the Califomians of 

Junfpero Serra stands out as one of the greatest figures of 
his time in Alta California. He came to the province with 
the first expedition of occupation, and shared therefore with 
Portold in the glamor of a conquest. He devoted himself 
unselfishly to the regeneration of a savage people, a task 
which makes a human appeal, and as a result men of all 
faiths have been able to unite in glorifying him as a success- 
ful missionary. But these facts would not have distinguished 
him from PortolA on the one hand or Father Lasu6n on the 
other. Much more important as affecting his fame was the 
publication of a biography prepared by his life-long friend, 
ardent admirer, and co-worker, Francisco Palou. 

Palou's volume was written to prove the great work of 
Father Serra. It seems probable, as has been asserted, that 
the author hoped it might help to procure the beatification 
of his revered brother-Franciscan. In accord with the ex- 
travagant style of the period, the book displayed a tendency 


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to colorfiil writing and was replete with miraculous happen- 
ings. Yet it was also a history of Alta California, grouped 
around the life of Serra. Published shortly after Serra's 
death, it remained for nearly a century almost the only his- 
tory of the early days that had ever appeared. 

Naturally, therefore. Father Serra has walked through 
many thousand pages of print, with the advantage, too, of 
having his tale presented under the most favorable cir- 
cumstances. Is it any wonder, then, that there sprang up a 
veritable "Serra legend?'' There was the Serra of the 
miracles recited by Palou, the reputed saving of the colony 
in 1770, and even a hazy notion that he had planned and led 
the expeditions of that time, after which (as many believed) 
he became ruler of the province. He was clothed with all 
the blandly benign attributes which people believe ordinarily 
that a saint should have, a garment which ill-fitted the 
strenuous and hard-fighting friar. When all is said and done, 
however, the venerable Jimlpero comes out far better in the 
light of the facts than have the heroes of other historic 
"legends." He himself loses nothing when the test is applied. 
His glory is dimmed, if at all, only in that it is necessary to 
give a meed of praise to others. His legendary fame at- 
tracted Califomians to the story of their past. Thus there 
developed that remarkable interest in local history which has 
long been a characteristic of the citizens of the Golden State 
and which led inevitably to an investigation of the record. 
Bucareli, Gdlvez, Anza, Oarers, Neve, Lasu^n, and even 
Portold may well render thanks to Serra, as should he in 
turn to Palou. Thus, too, is it poetically correct that Serra 
should be the hero of fiction and of the mission play, for he 
stands as the symbol, in the minds of Califomians, of the 
days when their state belonged to Spain. 

The real Serra was indeed a remarkable man. Already at 
an advanced age when he came to Alta California, he never- 
theless possessed the traits which were most needed in the 
pioneer. He was an enthusiastic, battling, almost quarrel- 
some, fearless, keen-witted, fervidly devout, unselfish, 
single-minded missionary. He subordinated everything, and 

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himself most of all, to the demands of his evangelical task as 
he understood it. Withal, his administration as Father- 
President was so soimd and his grasp of the needs of the 
province so clear that he was able to exercise a greater 
authority than would ordinarily have been permitted. 
Though he fought with local governors, he won the con- 
fidence of Bucareli, who preferred his judgment to that of 
either Fages or Rivera. Thus he was able in a measure to 
attain his ends, in the face of gubernatorial opposition, and 
so too must he be given credit for much that was done be- 
cause it was at his advice that many projects were under- 

Father Serra was bom on November 24, 1713,* of humble 
parents, in the village of Petra, on the island of Majorca, 
one of the Balearic Isles to the east of Spain. Baptised 
Miguel Jos4, he took the name ^^Jimfpero" upon entering the 
Franciscan order. This he did at the early age of sixteen 
years. In due time he became a doctor of theology and an 
able preacher. In 1749, now nearly thirty-six, he turned up 
at C&diz as one of a number of missionaries who were about 
to embark for New Spain. Just prior to his departure he 
wrote a letter to his brother-Franciscan and relative, 
Francisco Serra, giving ample testimony of his love of family 
and even more so of his religious fervor. A portion of the 
letter follows: 

"Friend of my heart, I lack words to tell you how much sorrow 
I feel in leaving you, and please repeat the same thing to my 
family, who, I have no doubt, must also feel grief at seeing me 
leave. I would like to impress upon them the great joy I feel. 
I intend to pledge myself to go there and never return. The voca- 
tion of the apostolic preacher, especially under the present circiun- 
stances, is the best which one could desire to go into. His life may 
be long or brief, but if he knows how to compare its length witi^ 
eternity, he will see clearly that, in any event, it could not be 
more than an instant. Such is the will of God, and I shall render 
Him the little assistance I can; if He does not wish us to be to- 
gether in this life. He will unite us in immortal gloiy. Tell them 

^ Two hundred yean later, in 1913, natire town. The writer was present 
a monument was raised to Father as deleflnte of the State and Uniyer- 
9em in the principal square of his sity of California. 

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that I am very sorry not to be with them as I was before, to com- 
fort them, but they ought to have in mind also that the principal 
thing must be held first, and that is the will of God. For nothing 
else but the love of God would I have left them." 

Thus did he renounce home and country to consecrate him- 
self irrevocably to his task. 

The voyage to New Spain was described by Palou, who 
also made it, in a brief and somewhat colorless account. 
Serra himself wrote about it most vividly and at great length 
to Francisco Serra. Owing to shortage of fresh water, they 
were obliged to make port "at the city of Porto Rico" (San 
Juan), where they remained fifteen days. Here the religious 
were most active in holding services for the inhabitants. 
With the humility customary in the language of friars of 
that time, Serra, who had just recounted the wonderful 
preaching of others, somewhat naively proclaimed his own 
failure as follows: 

''When I preached, not a sigh was heard, although I preached 
on fervent subjects and in a loud voice.^' 

But Palou insists, no doubt with correctness, that Serra's 
preaching was a distinct success. 

After going on the rocks in a firat attempt to get clear from 
the island port, the vessel soon afterward made the open sea. 
Nearing Vera Cruz it ran into a violent storm which all but 
wrecked it. According to Serra it was probably due to Santa 
Barbara, whom the religious had selected as their patron 
saint to save them, that the danger was averted. On Decem- 
ber 10, therefore, after more than three months out of C&diz 
(since August 29), he landed at Vera Cruz. Looking back 
over the voyage he displayed that pride in his own sea-l^s 
that many another in all ages has shown: 

''I have had nothing at all the matter with me. Indeed I am 
the only one of all the religious, both Franciscans and Domini- 
cans,' and the servants of both groups as well, who was not sea- 
sick; while the rest were almost dead, I never so much as realized 
that I was at sea, and that is the real truth." 

* Twenty and seven respectiTely. 

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It 18 reassuring to know, too, that Serra was enough of a 
human being to evince an interest in matters of food and 
drink, as appears at several points in the letter just cited. 

Soon after their arrival in New Spain, Serra and Palou 
were sent to the Sierra Gorda missions (in modem 
Tamaulipas, in northeastern Mexico), where the former was 
Father-President from 1750 to 1759, residing with Palou 
at the mission of Santiago de Jalpdn. In 1758 orders came 
for Serra to undertake the more dangerous mission among 
the Indians of northern Teicas. The Spanish efforts to ob- 
tain a foothold there centred about the r^on of San Sabd, 
but the settlements had never been prosperoiis. Before 
Serra had a chance to enter this new field, there occurred the 
massacre of 1758 which wiped out that post. Not knowing 
that this would operate to prevent his going, Serra wrote a 
stirring account of the massacre to his nephew Miguel in 
Petra, teUing especially of the miracles which had followed 
the martyrdom of Father Jos6 Santistevan. Nowhere in the 
letter was there the slightest intimation of his being afraid 
to go there; rather it seems probable, as Palou states, that 
he earnestly desired this dangerous service. All that Serra 
himself said in the letter just cited was the following: 

''In place of my happy, beloved friend, the holy mandate is 
now sending there this miserable sinner, who is your uncle, to- 
gether with Father Fray Francisco Palou. I recognize my use- 
kssness and incompetence for so great an undertaking. But God 
18 able, even through the agency of nothing itself,* to achieve 
works which redound to His glory." 

The death of the viceroy of New Spain caused a postponement 
of the project to re-establish the mission, and shortly after- 
ward the plan was given up. But for this change, California 
would in all probability never have had Serra as Father- 
President of the missions, and Texas might today be pro- 
claiming him as one of her early heroes. 

From 1759 to 1767 Serra spent much of the time at the 
Franciscan college of San Fernando in Mexico City. He also 

*The members of Serra's branch selyes individually as "notluDg it* 
of the Franciscan order frequently, — self." 
almost habitually, — styled them- 

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traveled about as a commissioner of the Inqtiisitioii. In 
1768 he became Father-President of the Femandine missionti 
of Baja California, whence he went to Alta California with 
the expeditions of 1769. From then imtil his death in 1784 
he was Father-President of the missions in the northern 
province. Nine missions were founded during his presidency. 
Not only in religious matters, but also in every other phase 
of Alta California affairs, he played an important part. 
Possibly his greatest individual service was that which he 
performed in connection with his visit of 1773 to Mexico 
City. It was then that he gave Bucareli the information and 
advice which enabled the latter for the first time to get a 
clear understanding of the situation in Alta Califomia. 

Just prior to his return, Serra wrote a letter to his nephew, 
telling what he had done during the past five years. In none 
of the letters of his private correspondence that have thus 
far come to light is the missionary ardor of Father Junfpero 
more clearly and imaffectedly set forth. Already nearly 
sixty years old, he seemed impatient of anything that had no 
direct relation to his spiritual task. He had definitely left 
family and native land behind. He spoke of the possibility 
of fiuther letters from him in such a way as to imply that he 
might not write again, — ^and indeed no further Serra letters 
have been foimd in the files at Petra. Even his remem- 
brances to Majorcan friends were coupled with a desire for 
their prayers that he might become a better missionary. 
Among other things he told how his journey to Mexico had 
broken his health, with the result that he had nearly died 
while at Guadalajara before reaching the capital. 

''After a few days they ordered the last sacraments to be ad- 
ministered to me, and I was in great danger. When the continuous 
fever broke into tertian, I went on my way, and arrived at the 
city of Quer^taro once again so weak that they also ordered the 
last sacraments to be administered. Soon, however, I got better, 
and at last reached this holy college [of San Fernando] . • • For 
a long time I was very weak and without appetite. But now, 
blessed be God, I am completely restored to health." 

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Not less interesting in this connection is a letter written in 
August 1773 by Father Pablo Font of the Collie of San 
Fernando to a brother-friar in Catalonia. 

"The Father-President Junfpero Serra is a religious of the 
Observant order,* a man of very venerable age, formerly professor 
at the University of Palma, who during twenty-four years, since 
he has been a missionary of this college, has never spared him- 
self in toiling for the conversion of the faithful and the unfaith- 
ful. Notwithstanding his many and laborious years, he has the 
qualities of a lion, which surrenders only to fever. Neither the 
habitual indispositions from which he suffers, especiaUy in the 
chest and in d^culty of breathing, nor the wounds in his feet and 
legs have been able to detain him a moment from his apostolic 
tsdsB. Hs has astonished us during his recent sojourn, for, al- 
though very sick, he never failed, day or night, to take part in the 
choir, much less when he had fever. We have seen him apparently 
dead, only to be almost immediately revived. If now and then 
he attended to the needs of bodily health at the infirmary, 
it was only because he was ordered to go there. Sometimes, in his 
journeys among the faithful and tiie imfaithful he has become so 
ill, on account of wounds and other infirmities, that it was neces- 
sary to carry him on a stretcher, but he did not wish to stop to 
cure his half dead body; and soon he would be restored to health, 
through the influence of the Divine Providence alone. 

"In very truth, on account of these things, and because of the 
austerity of his life, his humility, charity, and other virtues, he 
is worthy to be counted among the imitators of the apostles. And 
now he is returning, as if it were nothing, to Monterey, a distance 
of a thousand leagues by sea and land, to visit those missions and 
rejoice them by his presence and by the measures which he has 
procured, and to preside over them and found other missions 
until he shall die. May God grant him many years of life. Much 
more could I say of this holy man. He has at various times been 
elected Father Superior, but was never confirmed, either on ac- 
count of his absence or because the prelates thought it wiser not 
to withdraw such an extraordinary man from his apostolic tasks.'' 

It was in the spirit reflected in these letters that Father 
Serra performed his work as Father-President. Very much 
of a human being though he was, the man nevertheless was 
subordinate at all times to the religious. 

To tell what Serra did in Alta California would neces- 
sitate touching upon every phase of affairs in the province 
^One of the narneB of the Minorite branch of the Franciscan fiiars. 

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during his life. It is more important, perhaps, to direct at- 
tention to the nature of his authority, so as to make clear 
what he himself could and could not do. The clue to an 
accurate estimate is in an imderstanding of the already dis- 
cussed institution of the Real Patronato.^ From this it will 
appear that the Father-Presidents in Alta Califomia were 
as much subject to the king and viceroy as the veriest presi- 
dial captain, save only in the spiritual attributes of their 
profession. In earlier times nussion presidents were occar 
sionally granted a much wider authority. That was true of 
the Jesuits in Baja Califomia prior to their expulsion; there 
the Jesuit rectors were indeed responsible, under the viceroy, 
for all that was done, for they headed the military and poli- 
tical establishm^it as well as the religioiis. In Alta Cali- 
fomia, Father Serra and his successors had religious 
authority only, while the military and political resided in the 

The Father-President and the governor were to a certain 
extent independent of each other, but both were subject to 
the viceroy of New Spain, — or to the commandant-general 
of the frontier provinces during part of the time after 1776. 
Save for the higher authority of the political rulers of New 
Spain and the Father Superior of San Fernando (who was 
himself a subordinate, in a measure, of the viceroy), the 
Father-President held absolute power over the missionaries 
of his flock, and they in turn exercised an almost absolute 
control over their individual missions, as already pointed 
out. The semi-independence of the mission guard, almost 
the only authority outstanding from the friars, was a fruitful 
source of quarrels with the governors; the latter tended to 
emphasize its freedom from mission jurisdiction, while the 
missionaries held that it should be altogether subordinate to 
their wishes. The Father-President was not empowered to 
take action on his own responsibility, but was permitted to 
make recommendations directly to the viceroy, instead of 
through the office of the governor. 

■See chapter. XII, in which the whole question of the misBion ia 
taken up. 

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In fine, therefore, a dual power was established in Alta 
California. When the two elements clashed, the governor 
usually had the advantage, for he commanded the troops of 
the province and as a military man might expect to get a 
more sympathetic hearing from the viceroy or commandant- 
general, who in most cases was a soldier, too. But the friars, 
as a result of their intellectual attainments and the xmselfish- 
ness of their pretensions, were often able to gain their objects. 
Furthermore, they were the only element in the province 
with economic resources at their command, for the missions 
produced ahnost all that was raised in Alta CaUfomia dur- 
ing the Spanish period. The Father-Presidents are therefore 
entitled to be considered, with the governors, as one of the 
two ruUng elements in the province. 

From this it is clear that Serra had no such opportunity 
as that vouchsafed Salvatierra in Baja California. The 
latter must be considered as the conqueror and governor of 
Baja California, while Serra never was the dominant figure 
in Alta California; indeed, the absolutist kings of Spain had 
just previously banished the Jesuits because they were 
frightened by the power to which that order had attained, 
and any attempted restoration of the Jesuit system was dis- 
tinctly frowned upon. Serra, no doubt, would have preferred 
a position such as the Jesuits had enjoyed, because then he 
could have pursued his work of Christianization un- 
trammeled. Both Gdlvez and Bucareli had insisted, too, 
that the propagation of the faith was the primary task of the 
Spaniards in Alta California, and if they thought of this more 
from the standpoint of its utility to the empire Serra under- 
stood it literally as affecting the kingdom of God. It was on 
this accoimt that he quarreled almost incessantly with the 
governors, claiming that they were not advancing the 
interests of the mission establishments and that they were 
endeavoring unduly to exercise authority over the friars. 
On the other hand, the governors felt that theirs would be 
an empty government if it did not include a perfectly definite 
authority over the missions, for whose defence they were 
responsible and to which they furnished soldiers. Clashes 

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were therefore inevitable, and it was only a question of 
temperaments how far they should be carried. 

Beyond a doubt, Serra had far more friction with the 
governors than did his successor Father Lasu6n, but this was 
not wholly due to their difference in disposition. The prob- 
blems were newer in Serra's day, the state of the province 
less secure, and the men with whom he had to deal, especially 
Felipe de Neve, were perhaps somewhat less amenable to 
argument than were the governors of a later day. At any 
rate, Serra was able usually to gain his point, and knew how 
to seize on some of the petty annoyances put upon him by 
the governors to help his case in more important affairs. He 
was able to procure the dismissal of Fages and the appoint- 
ment of Rivera in his place. But the new man proved more 
of a thorn in his flesh than the old. Largely with a view to 
sustaining Serra's position in his quarrels with Rivera, 
Bucareli caused the latter to be transferred, and put FeUpe 
de Neve in command. 

Felipe de Neve was an able governor, but one cannot help 
feeling that judgment should be given in favor of Serra in 
most of the disputes that they had. Indeed, the governor 
not infrequently displayed that vindictive spirit which at a 
later time (already discussed) characterized his relations with 
Anza. A first issue arose between them over the question 
whether double rations for five years should be granted to 
the friars at three new missions, as had been the custom 
formerly, in accord with provision made in the Echeveste 
reglamento. Neve held that the law applied only to the first 
five missions of Alta California. In this instance the 
governor scored, and was eventually sustained. A little 
while later. Neve questioned Serra's authority to admin- 
ister the rite of confirmation to Christian converts; this 
power had been granted to Serra, but Neve pointed out that 
it had never been sanctioned by the commandant-general 
Teodoro de Croix. It was found eventually that Serra's 
right had been formally approved before the separate juris- 
diction of the frontier provinces was established. Thus 

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Seira won, but not until he had suffered an annoying delay 
of nearly two years. 

The most serious conflict arose over Neve's provision for 
the missions in the reglamento of which he was the author. 
He contemplated the founding of a chain of missions some 
fifteen or twenty leagues inland, but these were to be a new 
type of establishment. A church and a residence for the 
friar in charge were to be built, but no animals or implements 
of husbandry provided. Indeed, the governmental and 
economic phases of mission life were to be abandoned, and 
the task of the friar was to be limited to religious instruction. 
One friar at a mission, instead of the customary two, was 
deemed to be enough, and furthermore it was intended that 
the number at the older missions should eventually be re- 
duced to one. These provisions became law when the Neve 
reglamento was approved by the highest authority, but the 
Franciscans, both in Alta California and at the collide in 
Mexico, unceasingly opposed putting the law into effect. 
Serra refused to found new missions on that basis, and the 
Father Superior of the collie declined to send additional 
friars to Alta California. Of course, they could have been 
compelled to take action, but they were not. Perhaps it was 
fortimate for them that Neve did not long remain in Alta 
Califomia after this reglamento went into effect. At any 
rate, the matter never came to a head, though it remained a 
dread possibility even into the presidency of Father Lasu6n. 

And so at length, after a career which had touched the 
affairs of the province at every point, the venerable Father- 
President was attacked by what proved to be his last illness. 
Already past seventy and enfeebled by hardship and the 
self-imposed rigors of an austere Christian life, he knew that 
his time to die had come. He sent for Father Palou to be 
present, and with the utmost resignation prepared himself 
for the event. He insisted upon going about his religious 
tasks as usual, and the very day before his death walked a 
distance of about a hundred yards in order to receive the 
Holy Communion in church. On the 28th of August 1784 
he passed away, and next day was buried in the church at 

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the Carmel mission near the remains of his former com- 
panion in religion. Father Juan Crespf . 

The news of his death was received with great sorrow 
by his brethren in Mexico. Immediately thereafter, the 
Father Superior of San Fernando penned the following letter 
to the "Observant" order in Majorca: 

"The news of the death of our beloved fellow-countryman, 
Father Junfpero Serra, occurring at the mission of San Carlos, has 
just reached us from our missions of Monterey/ of which he was 
president. like just and pious men before his time, he died under 
such circumstances that all those around him not only shed tears 
but were also of the opinion that his happy soul went straight 
to Heaven to enjoy the reward of his thirty-four years of great and 
ceaseless labors, performed for our beloved Jesus, whom he ever 
kept in mind as undergoing untold suffering for our redemption. 

"Such was the kindness which he always showed these poor 
Indians that he amazed not only people in general but also persons 
of high standing, all saying that he was a saint and that his ways 
were those of an apostle. TbjB pious view of him was held from the 
time he arrived in the kingdom, and has continued^to be held« 
without any interruption wluitsoever." 

Thus died Junfpero Serra, most famous of the missionaries of 
Alta California.' 

* This IB an instanoe of the use of and published under the title New 

"Monterey" for all Alta California. light on Father Serrcu in Gritdy hear 

' This chapter is based principally magazine (Los Angeles. Mar.-May, 

on documents translated and edited }S^^y ^* ^^» na 6, 5; no. 6, 1; t. 

by Charles S. Mitrani and the writer, XXI, na 1, d. 

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Undying fame is not wholly the result of merit. Rarely 
have the strange pranks of tdstory been better illustrated 
than in the extraordinary reputation enjoyed by Junlpero 
Serra and the almost complete oblivion into which has passed 
the name of Fermfn Francisco de Lasu^n, a worthy rival of 
his illustrious predecessor in solid achievement. Both men 
were able, and deserving of the recognition of posterity, but 
Serra had two advantages which gained for him the lasting 
glory which it now seems impossible Lasu^n will ever have. 
Serra was the first Father-President, and shares, therefore, in 
the glamor of the conquest. Of far greater import, how- 
ever, he was so fortunate as to have a biographer, Father 
Palou. Theodore Roosevelt once said: 

"We could better afford to lose every Greek inscription that 
has ever been found than the chapter in which Thucydides teUs 
of the Athenian failure before Syracuse.*' 

In a similar vein the historian Bury wrote: 

"The early portion of Greek history, which corresponds to the 
seventh and sixth centuries B. C, is inevitably distorted and 
placed in a false perspective through the strange limitations of our 
knowledge . . . The wrong, unfortunately, cannot be righted by 
a recognition of it . . . Lea absents ont toujaurs tort." 

So too Serra will remain famous (justly so) because of Palou, 
while Lasu6n cannot hope for the renown to which he is en- 
titled, even though some later-day historian may yet piece 
together documentary evidence enough for a biography of 
this great Franciscan. Something should be done, however, 
to rescue Lasu^n from obscurity, and it is hoped that this 
chapter may serve in a measure toward that end. 


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For lack of a Palou we know little of the early life of 
Lasu^n. He was a native of Vitoria in the Basque province 
of Alava, a worthy representative of the race to which the 
upbuilding of the Spanish colonies was so greatly due. The 
year of his birth is unknown^ but it was probably about 1720. 
Eventually^ he was admitted to the Franciscan order, and 
turned up in Mexico as a member of the famous College of 
San Fernando. He saw service as a missionary in the Sierra 
Gorda, in the region between the present-day states of 
TamauHpas and Quer6taro, but left there in 1767 to join the 
Femandinos imder Father Serra when the latter took over 
the missions of the Califomias in succession to the Jesuits. 

By far the most important of the missions in the penin- 
sula at the time and, with the exception of the presently to 
be founded Velicatd, the most northerly among them was 
that of San Francisco de Borja. It is a tribute to Father 
Lasu^n that he was directed to take charge of this mission. 
The task which confronted him was very diflBicult. On the 
departure of the Jesuits, miUtary commissaries had been 
placed in charge of the missions, and they had spent more 
time searching for the supposed hidden wealth of the 
Jesuits than in promoting the welfare of the missions. As a 
result the missions had fallen away, and they were still 
further impoverished by being drawn upon for supplies for 
the expeditions of 1769 to Alta California. Naturally, the 
distant post of Borja was among the last to receive aid for 
its rehabiUtation. The condition of affairs there and the 
good sense of Father Lasu^n are both illustrated by certain 
correspondence between him and Gdlvez, at the ^time 
the latter was in the peninsula, the letters bearing date 
between September 1768 and February 1769. 

Gdlvez had published an edict against gambling, and di- 
rected Lasu^n to see that it was observed at the mission. 
Gdlvez also suggested the advisabihty of giving tobacco to 
the Indians to gain their good will. Lasu^n replied that he 
would comply with Gdlvez's directions, but as a matter of 
fact the vice of gambling did not exist at Borja, and the 
Indians used tobacco only as snuff, and for that but spar^ 

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ingly. The real need at Borja was not reform or tobacco, 
but food and clothing, for ''my children are most numerous, 
and hungry, and naked/' In the five months (from May to 
October 1768) that he had been in charge of the mission he 
had not received a grain of aid from anywhere. The letter 
impressed G^vez, but in a most extraordinary way. He 
wrote to Lasu^n that he proposed to relieve his necessities 
by dei)orting many of his neophytes to the better supplied 
missions of the south. It is somewhat strange that the ex- 
perienced Father Serra should have endorsed this plan, 
which failed to take into account the extreme conservatism 
of the Indian in clinging to his native siuroundings, however 
mean they may be. G^vez went on to say that two boats 
were to be despatched north at once to get the Indian 
families designated by Lasu6n for the southern missions. 

Lasu^n was wholly opposed to this arrangement, but his 
answer to Gtivez's letter was a model for tact. Instead of 
making a stormy protest, he pointed out that the plan, 

'Very just and necessary," was ''at this time exposed to many 
difficulties and more or less impossible of execution." The Indians 
of his mission were "stUl untamed and new in Christianity/' 
wherefore it would be "very difficult to make them comprehend 
the great utility which would come to them from the change and 
the favorable advantages which you offer them." 

When one of the boats arrived to take away some of the 
Indians, Lasu6n informed the captain that he would await 
further orders from Gdlvez before embarking them. The 
correspondence closed with a letter from G&lvez recognizing 
the correctness of Father Lasu^n's stand, and approving his 
suspension of the sending of the Indians from Borja. 

No connected accoimt can yet be given of Lami6n's five 
year term as the missionary of San Francisco de Borja, ait* 
though some more or less fragmentary records are at hand. 
Lasu6n's problem, as indeed was that of the other Baja 
California missionaries, was not so much to build up his 
mission as to keep it from going to pieces. This he did, in the 
face of discouraging circumstances. In 1771 he was able to 

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report that, so far as was known, there was not a single pagan 
left in the whole district. Notwithstanding a scarcity of 
water and cultivable land. Father Lasu6n had planted vine- 
yards, fig and pomegranate trees, and some cotton. The 
cotton was used at the mission in the manufacture of shawls 
for the Indians, and blankets were made of wool. In May 
1773, when the Dominicans succeeded to the Franciscan 
missions of the peninsula, statistics showed that there were 
at Borja 1000 persons, 648 cattle, 387 horses and mules, 
2343 sheep, and 1003 goats. The importance of the mission 
stands forth the more clearly when it appears that there were 
but 4268 persons and 14,716 domestic animals in all four- 
teen missions of Baja California. Thus, San Francisco de 
Borja, though by no means a favored spot, had imder its 
control nearly a fourth of the Indians in the missions and 
more than a fourth of the domestic animals. 

A still more eloquent commentary on the services of Father 
Lasu^n at San Francisco de Borja might be made if it were 
possible to go into the intimate details of his private life. 
During five years he was the sole missionary at that mission. 
Commenting on Lasu^n's expressed wish for a second mis- 
sionary there, Bancroft says: 

''We can in 8ome~~degree''imagine'^the desolate loneliness of a 
padre Vlife at a frontier mission; but the reality must have been 
far worse than anything our fancy can picture. These friars were 
mostly educated, in many cases learned, men; not used to nor 
needing the bustle of cily life, but wanting, as they did their daily 
food, intelligent companionship. They were not iJone in the strict- 
est sense of the word, for there were enough people around them. 
But what were these people? — ^ignorant, lazy, dirty, sulky, 
treacherous, half-tamed savages, with whom no decent man could 
have anything in common. 'Even the almost hopeless task of 
saving their miserable souls must have required a martyr for its 

But there were material discomforts as well. Writing 
from Alta California in April 1774, nearly a year after his 
departure from the peninsula, Lasu6n begged to be relieved 
from the great hardship he was imdergoing for lack of wear- 
ing apparel, which had already reached the point of inde« 

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cency. His clothes, he said, had been in continuous use for 
more than five years. He had mended them imtii they no 
longer admitted of it, and, moreover, had exhausted his 
materials for sewing. Referring somewhat humorously in 
another letter to his need for clothing, Lasu^ said that it was 
perhaps on that account that the Indians cared for him so 
much, on the principle that like attracts like, for he resem- 
bled them much in scantiness of wardrobe. 

When the Baja California missions were turned over to 
the Dominicans, eight of the Fernandinos, presumably the 
most capable among them, were directed to proceed to Alta 
California. Lasu^ was one of the friars ordered to the 
northern province. The missionaries left the peninsula in 
charge of Father Palou, who for several years had served as 
president of the Baja California missions, escorted by a 
military force under Sergeant Jos6 de Ortega. The party 
reached San Francisco de Borja on June 22, 1773, and left 
there next day, thus bringing LasuSn's long ministry at that 
mission to an end. En route north they made the first 
attempt that ever was made to run the boundary between 
the two Califomias. The line of division had been agreed 
upon in Mexico in May 1772. In accord with that decision 
Palou and his party raised a cross, on August 19, 1773, to 
mark the boimdary between the Dominicans and Femandi^ 
no8. The line was some five leagues north of the arroyo of 
San Juan Bautista and fifteen south of San Diego, a number 
of miles below the present boundary. Eleven days later, the 
party reached San Diego in Alta California. 

It is not surprising that Lasu^n was assigned to the mis- 
sion at San Gabriel. This had been founded in 1771, and 
gave promise of being the best site of all the missions from 
the standpoint of pastoral and agricultural possibilities. 
Hopes had not yet been realized, however, due in a measure 
to trouble with the Indians, caused by the improper conduct 
of Spanish soldiers. LasuSn was the right man to bring 
prosperity to San Gabriel. He set out for his mission at 
once, and took up his duties there in September 1773. The 
time was the least propitious possible, for the great eight 

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months' famine which all but caused the abandonment of 
Alta California was at its height. Supplies from New Spain 
reached San Diego on March 13, 1774, but it was not imtil 
some time later that San Gabriel was relieved. Meanwhile, 
the first Anza expedition reached San Gabriel, on March 22. 
This made matters worse for a while, since Anza, too, lacked 
supplies, but it meant an increased importance for San 
Gabriel, which henceforth was the first settlement in the 
province reached by those taking the overland route from 

Father Lasu6n, already past middle life, had wished to 
retire to the College of San Fernando instead of coming to 
Alta California, but, on being informed that he could not be 
spared, resigned himself to remaining in the province. He 
was destined never to leave, serving continuously in Alta 
California for thirty years. Little more need be said of his 
stay at San Gabriel. By the close of 1774 it was already the 
most prosperous of the missions. Furthermore, the troubles 
with the Indians had been overcome. A more serious task was 
now at hand. The march between San Diego and San 
Gabriel had always been difficult, owing to the treacherous 
character of the Indians. Fathers LasuSn and Gregorio 
Amurrio were designated, in August 1775, to found a mission 
between these two, to be called San Juan Capistrano. 
Lasu6n, who was in Monterey at the time, made the long 
journey to San Diego, and then turned back with Ortega, 
now a lieutenant, to make explorations for a site. In Octo* 
ber, Lasu^n formally inaugurated the misson. Father 
Amurrio soon arrived, and prospects seemed excellent, for 
the natives were well disposed, but after only a few days 
there came news of the great Indian uprising of 1775 at San 
Diego. Ortega was therefore obliged to leave for San Diego, 
and advised the two friars to give up the mission. This 
seemed the part of good sense; so the mission bells were 
buried, and the place was abandoned. Not long afterward, 
however, it was reoccupied. 

As already recounted the San Diego revolt of 1775 was the 
most serious attempt the Indians of Alta California ever 

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made to throw the Spaniards out of the province. It failed, 
but because of the underlying seriousness of the situation, 
and especially because the Indians of San Di^o had always 
been troublesome, the presence at the mission of the most 
able friars in the province was imperative, to supplement 
the work of the soldiers of the presidial establishment near 
by. Father Lasu6n was therefore called upon to remain at 
San Di^o. 

For a year after Lasu^n's arrival at San Diego there were 
troubles in connection with the late revolt, — ^troubles be- 
tween the friars and Governor Rivera, rather than with the 
Indians. The former wished to follow a policy of concilia- 
tion, as opposed to the more stringent, long-continued 
measures of repression imdertaken by the governor. These 
incidents may be passed over with the remark that the 
friars were eventually sustained by the viceroy of New 
Spain. Father Lasu4n remained at San Diego during the 
rest of Serra's presidency and the brief rule of Father Palou. 
Meanwhile, affairs at San Diego progressed smoothly; the 
earlier hostile attitude of the Indians did not again manifest 

Palou's succession to the presidency of the misiuons was 
understood to be temporary, for he had already asked per- 
mission to retire to the College of San Fernando. Permission 
was granted, and probably in September 1785 Palou de- 
parted for Mexico, where in the following year he became 
Father Superior of the college. The appointment of LasuSn 
as president of the missions was dated February 6, 1785, but 
it was not received in Alta California until September, when 
his long period of service at San Diego came officially to an 

A detailed account of the achievements of Lasudn as 
Father-President would involve giving a history of the 
province during the e^hteen years of his term. For the pur- 
poses of this chapter it seems better to select some phases of 
his work and character for treatment. 

One of the principal objects of the FemandinoSj and of 
Fathers Serra and Lasu^n in particular, was the founding of 

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missions, whereby more souls might be saved and Alta 
California placed on a sounder material basis. Of the 
twenty-one Femandino missions nine each were foimded 
during the presidencies of Serra and Lasu6n. Serra had long 
wished to establish a number of missions in the populous 
region bordering the Santa Barbara Channel, and authority 
for so doing was early received from New Spain. It was not 
until 1782, however, that the first of the missions, that of 
San Buenaventura, was founded, the last of Serra's nine. 
One of the earliest acts of Lasu^n's regime was to add two 
more. The Father-President himself, now in his sixty-sixth 
year, went to the presidio of Santa Barbara,* and superin- 
tended the founding of a mission near by. On December 4, 
1786, this mission. Santa Barbara, at the present day the 
most famous of all the twenty-one, was formally dedicated. 
A year later, on December 8, 1787, Lasu6n in person in- 
augurated the mission of Purlsima Concepci6n, at a point 
previously selected by Governor Fages, thus completing the 
Channel missions, although actual work at the new establish- 
ment did not begin until 1788. Next, steps were taken to 
found two missions between San Carlos of Monterey and 
Santa Clara, but clear authorization therefor was not re- 
ceived until July 1791. Lasu6n acted with customary 
promptness. Both sites had already been explored, but 
Lasu^n decided to see them himself. He found that of Santa 
Cruz all that had been claimed for it, and dedicated the 
mission there on August 28, 1791. The sites chosen for the 
other mission, Soledad, were not approved by Lasu6n, who 
himself selected the spot for the founding. On October 9 
Lasu6n was on hand to raise the cross at Soledad. 

The governors and the friars had long wished for additional 
missions somewhat farther inland, though west of the Coast 
Range, with the idea of reducing all the Indians of the coast 
districts between San Diego and San Francisco. Besides 
giving more converts to the faith this would remove the last 
vestige of Indian peril in the region under Spanish control. 
Governor Borica (1794rl800) was particularly active in co- 

1 Founded in 1782.1 

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operating with Father Lasu^n to achieve this end. The 
year 1795 was largely taken up with careful explorations for 
mission sites, and in the following year the viceroy authorized 
the founding of the five missions asked for. By May 1797 
everything was ready. Then followed the most remarkable 
era of mission-founding in the history of the province. 
Serra in 1771 and Lasu^n in 1791 had established two mis- 
sions in a single year. Now, Lasu6n from June to Septem*- 
ber established no fewer than four, followed in June 1798 
by the erection of a fifth. At the inauguration of all these 
missions Father Lasu^n presided in person, dedicating San 
Jose' on June 11, 1797, San Juan Bautista on June 24, San 
Miguel on July 25, San Fernando Rey on September 8, and 
San Luis Rey on June 13 of the following year. In so doing 
Father Lasu6n had to traverse the whole occupied sphere of 
the province, some five hundred miles or more in length, 
enduring hardships which can scarcely be appreciated in this 
day and age of luxmious travel. Verily, for a man in his 
seventy-seventh or seventy-eighth year Father Lasu^ 
might have been pardoned for feeling a high degree of self- 
satisfaction over his achievement, though there is no 
evidence to the effect that he did. 

Yet, Father Lasu6n rendered perhaps even more dis- 
tinguished service as an administrator than as a founder of 
missions. Not only must the new missions be placed upon a 
diu'able footing, but the old ones had also to be maintained. 
A right to administer the sacrament of confirmation had been 
granted to Serra for ten years. This ceased with his death, 
in 1784, at which time he had confirmed 5309 persons. 
Lasu6n was the only other Father-President to receive this 
right. It was granted for ten years in 1785, but was not for- 
warded until 1790. In the five year period remaining to him 
he confirmed about 9000 persons. He also exercised other 
powers which ordinarily would have been in the hands of the 
secular clergy. Since there were no other priests in Alta 
California the missionaries had administered the sacraments 

* A number of milee north of the pueblo which gcave the name to the 
present-day city of San Jose. 

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and performed various religious services for the Spanish 
population, though this was not a part of their regular 
duties. In 1796 the bishop of Sonora, unasked, conferred 
on Lasu6n the titles of Vicario Fardneo and Vicario Caatrense, 
whereby he was authorized to administer the customary 
sacraments other than that of confirmation to the civilian 
and military elements respectively. At the same time he 
was made Jtiez Edesidstico, or ecclesiastical judge, for such 
cases as might ordinarily be tried in a church court. All of 
these powers he was allowed to delegate to his subordinates, 
which Lasu^n accordingly proceeded to do. In 1796, too, 
Lasu6n was appointed commissary of the Inquisition of 
Mexico. As such he had occasion to publish a few edicts 
forwarded to him from Mexico, and once "confiscated and 
forwarded to the capital four copies of a forbidden game 
called El Eus^bio." These new duties added considerably 
to Lasu^n's responsibilities, for by his own account the 
Spanish settlers were careless about observance of certain 
precepts of the church, such as those of annual confession and 
receiving communion at Easter. 

Yet, the old Father-President was far from being over- 
whelmed by his labors. In 1797, after he had just completed 
the founding of the four missions established in that year, 
Governor Borica, who regarded the achievement as extra- 
ordinary, complimented him, and observed that he must 
have renewed his youthful vigor by bathing in the holy 
waters of another Jordan. There is another side to Father 
Lasu^n's administration deserving of comment in this con- 
nection. Whenever there was anything important to be 
done, he went himself to attend to it. His ofiGicial head- 
quarters were at San Carlos of Monterey, but his tours were 
so frequent that he was rarely there for any length of time. 

It was during Lasu^n's rule, too, that a forward step was 
taken in the economic growth of the missions. In addition 
to the normal development in agriculture and stock-raising 
as well as in the number of Indians living at the missions, 
the neophytes received instruction in the trades of the artisan 
beyond anything they had had before. The friars had al- 

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ready taught their wards all they knew, but desired to perfect 
them in their employments and make the missions inde- 
pendent of the supply-ships from New Spain as much as 
possible. Acting probably at Lasu^n's suggestion Governor 
Fages wrote to the viceroy in 1787, asking that carpenters, 
smiths, masons, and other artisans be sent to Alta California 
to instruct the Indians. About twenty were sent, at royal 
expense, mostly between 1792 and 1795, on four or five year 
contracts. A few remained permanently in the province, but 
most returned later to New Spain. Much of the economic 
advance of the missions may be attributed to their coming. 
One wonders, too, how much of the improvement in mission 
architecture was due to the building or reconstruction 
effected by them. Certainly the missions of the earliest days 
were rude edifices, while those of the period of Father Lasu^ 
have been almost solely responsible for the "mission style*' 
which is such a characteristic note in the present-day 
architecture of California. 

It is necessary to deal with one other phase of Lasu^n's 
rule, that of his relations with the governors and presidial 
commanders of the province. Disputes between the religious 
and the military were a chronic feature of Spanish colonial 
administration everjrwhere. Neither element can justly be 
charged with fault for this situation; it was inherent in the 
dual system of government employed, where powers were 
either too loosely defined, or else too specifically stated in 
some instances which did not fit actual circumstances. Un- 
less both elements were disposed to get along, quarrels were 
sure to result, and even when they wished to avoid trouble, 
differences very often occurred. 

Lasu^n was fortunate in that the governors with whom he 
had to deal (Fages, Rom6u, Arrillaga, Borica, and Albemi) 
were reasonable men, eager to have affairs run smoothly 
when possible. Fages was hot-tempered, but warm-hearted 
and incapable of harboring a grievance against anybody. 
He had had many quarrels with Serra, but his long experience 
as governor and Lasu^n's tactfulness enabled the two men 
to get over some rough spots in their relations. Borica and 

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Lasu^n were devoted friends, but even they could not avoid 
disputes. One great source of trouble was the. provision 
recommended by Governor Neve in 1779 that in the new 
missions about to be erected along the Santa Barbara 
Channel and in others projected for farther inland the friars 
should exercise merely spiritual jurisdiction, allowing the 
natives to live in their own towns and make their living in 
their own way, and at the same time reducing the nimiber of 
missionaries at a mission from two to one. Lasuen himself 
wrote to the Father Superior of San Fernando protesting 
against the change. With reference to a plan to form the 
missions into custodias under secular control (subject to the 
newly-appointed bishop of Sonora), Lasu6n expressed him- 
self in conformity, since it had the sanction of the church. 
It might also serve as "a means for me to depart <rom this 
government and this work."* As for the Neve plan, wrote 
Lasu6n, if that was to be put into effect without recourse to 
the Council of the Indies, 

'' I would, without delay and with a clear conscience, do all I 
could to seize any opportunity which might present itself to retire 
to the college . . . This measure, in my private opinion, without 
setting myself up against the views of others, though they may ap- 
plaud it, has little of the reUgious in it, and is reprehensibly full of 
zeal to save money for the royal treasury ... In fine," he said, 
after stating the difficult task of the missionaries, ''this [new] 
system would consign a religious to a life that was more than tire- 
some, to sickness without assistance, and death without sacra- 
ments ... 'I cannot believe that His Catholic Majesty likes it. 
wishes, or will permit that a poor friar suffer such pitiful ana 
grievous desolation, or that he will agree to this unbearable lack 
of a priest in one's greatest distress, when the friars, in order to 
serve the king, have deprived themselves of the very delightful 
company of so many people, or do I think that he will see them 
left without the help of anyone, when they themselves are being 
sacrificed for the sake of all. For me the solitude of this occupa- 
tion is a cruel and terrible enemy which has struck me heavfly, 
like a blow. I escaped from it, thank God, after evident risk of 
dying on account of it, and now that I see its shadow again, even 
from afar, I am full of trembling at* the mere prospect of having to 

* As a man Lasu6n never desired ligious he accepted with resignation 
to stay in the Calif omias. As a re- the duty imooeed on him. 

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return to the struggle • • . f or it is possible that this misf ortune, 
which I fear worse than death, may fall to my lot. Therefore, if 
this measiire is not revoked, I again declare my positive and su- 
preme repugnance to this religious task and ask insistently that 
I be relieved, rel3ring on [the rights granted by] . . • our Fran- 
ciscan law ... I would beg, and I do beg, leave to go to my 
province in the order, or to attach myself to any other whatsoever 
m the world, for all the evils of any character, save that of sin, 
seem less to me than that of being idone in this ministry." 

It will be noticed that Lasu^n's protest was very far from 
being an act of rebellion. The law of his order gave him 
rights in the matter, and he implied that he would obey if 
the Council of the Indies or the king should sustain the 
measure. The horror with which he recalled his service as 
the sole missionary at Borja and a lurking fear of insanity if 
he should be required to perform a similar task again seemed 
to underly his resistance to the plan. And what wonder that 
he should have felt that way I 

As for the change itself, it was not actually put into effect, 
but the question was raised at the outset of Lasu6n's presi- 
dency with respect to the two missions proposed to be 
founded along the Santa Barbara Chaimel. The Neve 
reglamento had never been revoked, except that the plan for 
but a single missionary had probably been overruled. Even 
this variation from the original law was not certainly known 
in Alta California. It was now directed that the new mis- 
sions should conform to the Neve arrangement. On the 
other hand Lasu6n received orders from the Father Superior 
of San Fernando not to found them except upon the old 
basis. Here then was a situation that had been created 
neither by Fages nor by Lasu^n. Yet, between them thqr 
handled it so that it has left but a scant trace on the local 
records of Alta California. Lasu^n had his way without 
quarreling, and it was tacitly agreed that the missions should 
be founded in the way that he wished. 

Meanwhile a controversy had been started, prior to 
Lasu6n's installation in office, between Fages and Palou. 
This was brought to a head by charges against the FematuK- 
no8 made by Fages in September 1785. It is not necessary 

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here to go into the charges, which were somewhat trivial, 
but it may be said that Lasu^n, upon whom it devolved to 
draw up the answer, refuted them in a dignified and con- 
vincing manner, which virtually settled the dispute. In his 
report, which he was directing to the commandant^eneral 
of the frontier provinces, he reverted to the single missionary 

"I shall not hesitate to give information conducive to that end, 
it they order me to do so or ask my advice, to the effect that I am 
utterly opposed, particularly on my own account, as much as it is 
possible to be opposed, to the project of being alone in a mission. 
I shall offer m3rself for any kind of suffering and to die in. these 
parts, as soon as God may order it, but I am certain that there will 
never be a man who can convince me that I must subject myself 
to that solitude in this ministry. It seems that this plan has either 
been abolished or silently passed over, on which account I say no 
more, but I shall do so whenever occasion demands it.'' 

The dispute between Lasu6n and Fages came for solution 
before the highest authorities of the Spanish government, 
occupying a measure of their attention for a number of years. 
At length, it was decided, in 1793, to drop the matter. 
Through Lasu^n's skilful management it had died a natural 
death in Alta California. Thus we find Fages, in his general 
report of 1787 about the missions, speaking in the highest 
terms of the missionaries, and nowhere saying anything 
derogatory of them. One paragraph of this document, 
though it does not refer directly to Father Lasu^n, is worth 

"If we are to be just to all [the Femandinos], as we ought to 
be, we must confess that the rapid, gratifying, and interesting 
progress, both spiritual and temporal, which we fortimately are 
able to see and enjoy in this vast new country, is the glorious 
effect of the apostolic zeal, activity, and indefatigable ardor of 
their religious." 

It would have been difficult for the average individual to 
speaJc in this generous manner, unless he were on good terms 
with those to whom he was referring. Lasu6n must have 
persuaded Fages to bury the hatchet. 

A number of differences arose even in the time of Gov- 
ernor Borica. When the Spanish jmebh of Branciforte 

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(modem Santa Cruz) was founded in 1797 near the missioii 
of Santa Cruz, Lasu6n and the other Femandinos protested. 
The viceroy sustained Borica, however, and Lasu^n had the 
good sense not to insist upon his point of view. Questions 
arose also over the instruction of mission Indians by the 
artisans sent from Mexico, the use of these Indians in 
pursuit of others who had run away, and the election of 
Indian alcaldes at the missions. These matters were 
arranged without undue friction, so that the letter of the law 
was complied with, but the missionaries were allowed to 
carry on their affairs much as they had before. Such points 
of contention as these came to the fore now and then to the 
end of Lasu6n's rule, and indeed, thereafter, for they were 
inseparable from the system of government employed. One 
of Lasu^n^s last acts was to assist in defeating an attempt to 
revive Neve's mission plan. In 1802 he prepared a report 
opposing the project. The viceroy accepted his conclu- 
sions, and the change in the mission system did not take 

It may fairly be said, however, that Lasu6n was able both 
to maintain harmony with the military and to have his own 
way in the management of the missions. All his con- 
temporaries spoke highly, even enthusiastically, of him. 
There can be no doubt that his lovable traits as a man con- 
tributed appreciably to his success as an administrator. The 
sweetness and nobility of his character are attested by 
foreigners and Spaniards alike, whose comments are all the 
more worthy of credence in that they wrote under circum- 
stances which did not require them to set down other than 
what they really felt. The great French navigator, 
Lap6rouse, visited Monterey in September 1786. In his 
description of the province he inclined to disapprove of the 
mission system, but spoke warmly of the wise and pious con- 
duct of the missionaries. Of the Father-President he says: 

"Father Fermin de Lasu^n, president of the missions of New 
California, is one of the most worthy of esteem and respect of 
all the men I have ever met. His sweetness of temper, his bene^'^- 
olence, and hia love for the Indians are beyond expression." 

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This tribute is the more striking in that Lap^rouse was in 
Alta California at the time when the quarrel between Fages 
and Lasu^n which began the latter's presidency was at its 
height. Lap6rouse mentions this as follows: 

''The missionaries, who are so pious, so worthy of respect, are 
already ia open quarrel with the governor, who for his psxt 
seemed to me to be a loyal soldier." 

Thus, LapSrouse, who here and elsewhere evinced his liking 
for Fages, was not blinded to the merits of the friars, and was 
able to give the enthusiastic praise of Lasu^n quoted above. 
Perhaps even more remarkable is the tribute given by the 
English navigator, George Vancouver. Referring to his 
first meeting with Lasu^n, on the occasion of a visit to the 
mission of San Carlos in December 1792, Vancouver says: 

''Our reception at the mission could not fail to convince us 
of the joy and satisfaction we communicated to the worthy and 
reverend fathers, who in return made the most hospitable offers 
of every refreshment their homely abode afforded. On our arrival 
at the entrance of the Mission the bells were rung, and the Rev. 
Fermin Francisco de Lasuen, father president of the missionaries 
of the order of St. Francisco in New Albion, together with the 
fathers of this mission, came out to meet us, and conduct us to 
the principal residence of the father president. This personage 
was about seventy-two years of age, whose gentle manners, imited 
to a most venerable and placid countenance, indicated that tran- 
quilized state of mind that fitted him in an eminent degree for 
presiding over so benevolent an institution." 

So impressed was he by the Father-President that in Novem- 
ber 1793 he gave his name, not once but twice, to the points 
at the extremities of the Bay of San Pedro, near Los Angeles. 
These names, "Point Fermin" and "Point Lasuen," are still 
retained on modem maps. The following month, while at 
San Diego, Vancouver met Lasuen, who had just reached 
that port during one of his journeys to visit the missions in 
his charge. Vancouvej had been prevented from sailing by 
unfavorable winds, but, he said, 

"I did not regret the detention, as it afforded us the pleasure 
of a visit from our very highly esteemed and venerable friend 
the Father president of the missionaries." 

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Lasu^n wished to send to San Juan Capistrano for supplies to 
''add abundantly to our stock of refreshments/' and Van- 
couver, who expressed himself as ''not less thankful for these 
offices of kindness as convinced of the sincerity with which 
they were made," stated that he "had great difficulty to 
prevail on the father president to desist from sending to St. 
Juan's for the supplies he had proposed." Finally, Vanr 
couver writes: 

''The enjoyment of the society of this worthy character was 
of short duration; it however afforded me the satisfaction of 
personally acknowledging the obligations we were under for the 
friendly services that had been conferred upon us, by the mission- 
aries under his immediate direction and government; being per- 
fectly assured, that however well disposed the several individuals 
might have been to have shewn us the kind attention we had 
received, the cordial interest with which the father president had, 
on all occasions, so warmly espoused our interests, must have been 
of no small importance to oiu* comfort. This consideration, in addi- 
tion to the esteem I bad conceived for his character, induced me 
to solicit his acceptance of a handsome barrelled organ, which, 
notwithstanding the vicissitudes of climate, was still in complete 
order and repair. This was received with great pleasure, and 
abundant thanks, and was to be appropriated to the use and 
ornament of the new church at the presidency of the missions at 
St. Carlos." 

These statements from an Englishman, who was quite as 
"British" in his conservatism as the average of his race, in 
an age when Englishmen felt an antipathy toward Spain and 
Spaniards on both national and reUgious groimds, are the 
strongest possible evidence of the charm of Lasu6n's manner 
and the beauty of his character . 

Alejandro Malaspina, commander of a Spanish voyage of 
discovery by the ships Descvbierta and Atrevida, was at 
Monterey in September 1791. He refers to Lasu6n in con- 
nection with various interpretations about the reported loss 
of two boats by the Lap&x>use expedition: 

"Among those who could with the most judgment and knowl- 
edge make some interpretations. Fray Matfas [sic] de Lasu6n, of 
the order of St. Francis, president of the missions of New Cali- 
fomia, without doubt deserved the first place. He was a man who 

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in Christian lore, mien, and conduct was truly apostolic, and his 
good manners and learning were unusual. This religious had with 
good reason merited the esteem and friendship of both French 
commanders and the majority of their subordinates/' 

If further proof were needed of the zeal as a missionary of 
this great Franciscan it may be said that he served all the 
years of his presidency without pay. Salaries were granted 
only to the two missionaries stationed regularly at each 
mission. The supernumerary missionaries were without 
stipend, and, strange to say, the Father-Presidents were 
reckoned in this category. As Lasu6n put it, he lived upon 
the alms of his Franciscan brethren. This self-sacrifice 
is not so surprising in itself, for many others were equally 
without financial reward, but it was particularly hard for 
Father Lasu^n, who had a poor sister, named Clara, about 
whose welfare he was anxious, for he feared that he must die 
without having been able to provide for her. 

And so at length this man, who had done a life work after 
most others would have chosen to retire, was himself ready 
to pass off the scene. Old man that he was, about eighty- 
three, he had retained his faculties and rendered effective 
service to the very end. After an illness that confined him 
to his bed for twelve days he died at Mission San Carlos on 
Jime 26, 1803, and was buried there the next day. 

In estimating the greatness of Lasu6n's work one is nat- 
urally inclined to compare him with his renowned prede- 
cessor, Jimfpero Serra. Bancroft rates Lasu^n ahead of 
Serra. It is perhaps unnecessary to choose between them, 
but, surely, Lasu6n worthily filled the post of the great 
Junfpero. As a mission-foimder he achieved as much; 
indeed, it might be argued that he did more, for he is credited 
with having inaugurated one of those established during 
Serra's presidency, while he personally dedicated all of 
the nine erected in his own term. He traveled fully as 
much as Father Serra from mission to mission and perhaps 
more. He baptized a far greater number of Indians. He 
built up the missions economically and architecturally. He 
was far more successful than Serra in maintaining har* 

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monious relations with the military. In zeal as a Christian 
and missionary he equaled, though he could not surpass, 
Father Junfpero. And yet it is perhaps true that the task of 
Father Serra in a virgin field was the more difficult and 
therefore entitled to the greater praise for its successful 
fulfilment. One wonders, however, if Lasu^n might not have 
done equally well, if the chance had fallen to him. And, 
furthermore, if Lasu^n had had a Palou to write his bio- 
graphy, might he not have fared nearly as well with 
posterity? Be that as it may, one may well sympathize with 
the splendid tribute (omitting all in it that compares Lasu^ 
to Serra) paid to him by Bancroft: 

''In him were united the qualities that make up the model or 
ideal padre ... In person he was small and compact, in expres> 
sion vivacious, in manners always agreeable, though dignified. He 
was a frank, kind-hearted old man, who made friends of all he met. 
Distinguished visitors of French and English as well as of Spanish 
blood were impressed in like manner with his sweetness of disposi- 
tion and quiet force of character. His relations with the coU^e, 
with the govermnent, and with his band of missionary workers 
were always harmonious, often in somewhat trying circumstances, 
though no one of the Franciscans had more clearly defined opinions 
than he. None of them had a firmer will, or were readier on occa- 
sion to express their views. His management of the mission in- 
terests for eighteen years affords abundant evidence of his imtiring 
zeal and of his ability as a man of business. His writings . . . pre- 
possess the reader in favor of the author by their comparative 
conciseness of style. Of his fervent piety there are abundant proofs; 
and his piety and humility were of an agreeable type, unobtrusive, 
and blended with commonnsense . . . Padre Fermin — as he was 
ever3rwhere known — to a remarkable degree for his time and 
environment based his hopes of future reward on purity of life, 
kindness, and courtesy to all, and a zealous performance of duly 
as a man, a Christian, and a Franciscan.'' 

This from a writer not always in sympathy with the friars 
should be a measure of the regard in which posterity should 
hold the memory of the great and lovable California mis- 
sionary, Fermfn Francisco de Lasu6n.* 

^This chapter is based principaUv printed works and orieinal maiiii- 
on contemporary eridences, Doth scripts, in the Bancroft Library. 

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By far the most numerous element in Spanish California 
were the Indians. Within the settled area their numbers 
were never very great, though outstripping that of their 
Spanish masters. In 1806 there were 20,355 Indians at the 
missions, the highest figure ever attained in the Spanish era. 
Under Mexico there were 21,066 in 1S24, which was the 
record year for the whole period of the Franciscan missions. 
Outside the missions there were always very many more. 
As already set forth, there may have been about 133,000 in 
what is now the state as a whole, and 70,000 in or near the 
conquered area. The missions included only the Indians of 
given localities, though it is true that they were situated on 
the best lands and in the most populous centres. Even in 
the vicinity of the missions, there were some unconverted 
groups, however. Over the hills of the Coast Kange, in the 
valleys of the Sacramento and San Joaquin, north of San 
Francisco Bay, and in the Sierra Nevadas of the south there 
were imtold thousands whom the mission system never 
reached. From the runaway mission Indians who each year 
crossed the range the nearer of them kept informed of the 
alien rule, and in the last two decades of the Spanish regime 
they had the usually unpleasant experience of visits by 
military expeditions. Otherwise, except that they repre- 
sented a potential danger, — which, however, was not taken 
very seriously, — ^they were as if in a world apart from the 
narrow strip of coast which was all there was of the Spanish 

Yet, because no appalling disaster ever happened, one 
must not forget that the possibility was always present. 

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Two or three thousand Yumas had shown, in 1781, what the 
Indians could do, if only they would make the effort, and the 
San Diego conspiracy of a few years before had narrowly 
missed success. The Indians of the mission area alone could 
at any time have overwhelmed the paltry two to four hun- 
dred soldiers of the Spanish garrison if they had been willing 
to follow the example of their brethren of the Colorado. The 
presence of the Indians was as necessary, however, as it was 
dangerous, for they were the chief economic sustain of the 
province. Not only at the missions, but also in the settle- 
ments of the whites, the Indians performed most of the 
labor. The soldiers, indeed, were required to do some work, 
but the usual methods were to contract for a number of mis- 
sion Indians or else to pick them up from the unconverted 
tribes through bargaining with the chiefs. 

The "people of reason" (jrente de raz&n), or civilized ele- 
ment, who for convenience may be called "whites," were in 
fact of varying shades of color. The officers and mission- 
aries were for the most part of pure white blood, but the great 
majority of the rest were mestizos — ^part white and part 
Indian. In the Los Angeles district there were some mulat- 
toes. The amount of what is commonly called "blue blood" 
was also distinctly limited. Not a few of the Spanish Call- 
fomians were ex-convicts; indeed, some of them were at the 
time under sentence, being required to live in Alta California 
as a penalty for their crimes 1 Some others were foundlings 
from the streets of Mexico. Unpromising material as so 
many of them were, they yet fulfilled a great purpose in his- 
tory, and the descendants from even the meanest of them 
have good cause to feel pride in their ancestry. 

The principal white element were the military, composed 
at first of almost the entire adult population, except for the 
missionaries. In course of time there came to be a group of 
retired veterans at the presidios and ranches and a body of 
civilians in the pueblos who were indeed subject to call for 
military service, but were not enrolled in the permanent 
garrison. A few small traders and vagabond sailors drifted 
in, especially in the second decade of the nineteenth centurj ^ 

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when foreigners began to come. The following estimates 
have been made of the total white population in the Spanish 

1780 i600 1810 2130 

1790 970 1820 3270 

1800 1200 

These figures, when analyzed, show an even smaller advance 
in himian resources than at first sight they seem to represent. 
The numbers for 1780 were made up mainly of men; the 
women and children of the Rivera (1774) and Anza (1776) 
expeditions and such children as had since been bom in the 
province were the only others. The figures for 1790 include 
the settlers who escaped the Yuma massacre of 1781. Upon 
these three expeditions the human foundations of Alta Cali- 
fornia were laid. All accounts agree as to the extraordinary 
fecundity of the Spanish Califomians, though the death rate 
must also have been shockingly great. At all events, it 
would seem that the population of 1820 could hardly have 
represented more than five hundred men, — or about the same 
number that there were some forty years before. 

There were four types of settlement in which men of 
Spanish blood were to be found: missions; presidios; ci^dlian 
towns (jmebloa); and ranches. Today one hears most of 
missions, in part because of the writings of the friars (es- 
pecially Palou), who left behind them ample records of their 
toil, but more particularly due to the fact that the mission 
ruins are the most obvious, most noteworthy, and most 
famous tangible remains of the Spanish era. Because the 
missions were also the principal constructive factor in the 
reduction of the Indians to Spanish rule, — granted that the 
military were in a negative way still more essential for the 
retention of the province, — ^they merit first place in any 
discussion of Spanish Califomian institutions. 

Both in theory and in practice the missions of Alta Califor- 
nia resembled, almost exactly, those established elsewhere 
in the Americas by the Spaniards. The general description 
already given is therefore applicable to them.* It may be 

» See chaDters XII and XXVIIL 

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noted that the Indians of Alta California were so backward 
that the absolute sway of the missionaries over them was if 
anything more pronounced than in many other mission 
fields. As elsewhere the Indians were not compelled to accept 
Christianity, but once in the mission system they could not 
leave it. They were required to give up their savage type 
of lif e, and made to work at agriculture, stock-raising, and 
menial tasks. During Lasu^n's presidency they began to be 
taught certain forms of rough manufacturing and carpentery . 
In everything, their time was planned /or, and not by, them. 
Acts of disobedience were punished by whipping or imprison- 
ment. In the period of Serra and Lasu^n, when both mis- 
sionary zeal and the peril of Indian uprisings were greater, 
the evidence would seem to indicate that the treatment was 
more kindly than afterward. For example, it was in later 
years that the practice became general for the missionaries 
to furnish Indian labor for work outside the missions. Even 
as early as 1786 Lap^rouse, the French navigator, compared 
the missions to the negro slave plantations of his own coun- 
trymen in Santo Domingo. He did indeed in all sincerity 
praise the missionaries, but said that they were enslaving 
the Indians in this life, to save them in the next. He himself 
saw men and women in stocks or in irons, and also spoke of 

Tlie missions of Alta California were the richest institu- 
tions in the province. They and their visitas^ possessed the 
best lands, and were almost alone in cultivating the soil. Their 
flocks were easily the largest, wherefore they were in the best 
position to carry on the hide and tallow trade which was the 
principal economic support of the province after 1810. 
Following the impulse given during the rule of Father 
Lasu6n, the missions attained to considerable importance in 
rude manufactures, being without other competitors n the 
field. The Indians worked up the blankets and coarse fabrics 
of which they themselves made use. They tanned hides, and 
made shoes and certain parts of saddles. The year 1798 was 

* Best known of the visitas is Pala, often regarded, mistakenly, as having 
been one of the missions. 

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marked by the first appearance of home-made soap, a mis- 
sion product, like the rest. Coarse pottery was made at the 
missions, and flour mills were operated. When foreign 
traders came, seeking hides and tallow or perhaps a store of 
grain, they got the largest quantities and best quality at the 
missions, and paid for them with cloths of superior texture, 
fine wines and liquors^ and other '' civilized articles'' such as 
could not be made in Alta Calif omia. This trade was against 
the law of both government and church, but the statutes 
were almost, if not quite, a dead letter. Indeed, the trade 
was necessary to the existence of the province, for some of the 
foreign goods were essential to a decent standard of living, — 
and besides, the silks, satins, and laces, to say nothing of the 
cognac and champagne, made life infinitely more delightful. 
In this connection it may be mentioned that the Alta Cali- 
fornia Mars did not hold to the provision of the law. for- 
bidding them to permit white men, other than friars and the 
military guard, to stop at the mission over night. Guests 
were in fact received, and often most lavishly entertained. 

It is obvious from the foregoing that the missionaries of 
Alta California were something more than teachers of re- 
ligion. The wide powers of their administration made them 
virtual owners and managers of a vast economic plant. 
They were farmers, cattlemen, manufacturers, traders, and, 
in a sense, bankers and inn-keepers, as well as preachers. 
In various of these capacities they were also great employers 
of labor.* 

Passing over the matter of the relations of the missionaries 
with the other Spanish elements in the province,* one may 

* The question as to what become hospitality to guests, but few would 

of the funds which the missionaries object to their enjoyment of these 

receive is too much matter of con- somewhat mild compensations for 

troversy to permit of a categorical an otherwise unpleasant lot. Asser- 

statement. It can hardly be doubted, tions have been made that they sent 

however, that they were devoted to their surplus funds to the general 

what, in the opinion of the mission- treasury of their order, thus diverting 

aries, was most conducive to the ac- them from the Indians. These as- 

compUshment of the primary objects sertions have however been vigor- 

of the mission. The fnars are reputed ously denied. 

to have lived rather well themselves * Alrea^ discussed in chapters 

and to have displayed a generous XII and aXVIIL 

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ask the question whether the missioDS were successful. 
Considered narrowly, from the standpoint of their primary 
objects, they were not; indeed, th^ were foredoomed to 
failure. It is true that they did make Christians of many 
Indians, but the feeble intellects of the natives were utterly 
unable to penetrate the deeper meanings of the new religion. 
Theirs was always a rdte Christianity, and could not by any 
possibil ty have become more. The friars also taught the 
Indians a civilized mode of life, but this too, like the Catholic 
faith, did not and could not sink in. In later years, when the 
guiding hand of the missionary was withdrawn, most of the 
Indians either reverted to savagery or else resorted to a 
drunken and bestial tyi)e of '' civilization.'' It is perhaps 
true that the mission system did prolong the life of the In- 
dian tribes of the coast, but, even so, the efforts in this 
direijction were without permanent resuft. It has been esti- 
mated that in all California to-day there are not more than 
some 15,000 Indians, and this includes the descendants of 
the far more numerous tribesmen who lived beyond the pale 
of the missions. The work of the Franciscans in Alta Cali- 
fornia was humanitarian in laudable degree, but its ultimate 
effect upon the Indians was nil. 

And yet, if one may judge institutions by their contri- 
butions to history, quite apart from the intentions which 
were the basis for their direction in their own day, it is im- 
possible to regard the mission as anything but a great suc- 
cess. Possibly its greatest historical service in Alta Califor- 
nia was the help it rendered n ho ding the province for the 
civilized world, and more particularly for Spain and (as it 
proved) the United States. Even the kindliness which lay 
at the root of the institution was not wasted. It is the foun- 
dation upon which men of a later day have reared the struc- 
ture of California history. It is the cornerstone of California 
art, literature, and sentiment. 

Less romantic than the missions in contemplation, the 
presidios were, notwithstanding, — at least, negatively, — ^the 
backbone of the province and the scene of happier asso- 
ciations than fell to the lot of the institutions over which 

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the friars presided. If the nussionaries were an important 
agency in the scheme of Spanish conquest, the military were 
a sine qua non of the system. Without them, any extension 
of the Spanish realms was impossible. In Alta California 
they were few in number and inadequately equipped, but 
were able to check the thousands of Indians in the province. 
They were also the principal element in the prevention of a 
foreign occupation which would have been disastrous to the 
aspirations of the ultimate possessors of Alta Califomia. 
Some idea has already been given of the difficulties a foreign 
invader would have had in conquering this distant part of 
the world, un ess he should have come in force. The mere 
presence of a garrison was, however, enough to prevent such 
an invasion, not through fear of failure in the attack, but 
through dislike of stirring up complications with Spain, 
which would have been the inevitable result. Thus the 
Russians, who might have conquered the province, held back 
from so doing because of the friendly relations existing be- 
tween their government and the court of Madrid. Even the 
English, who were desirous of gaining a foothold in Alta 
Califomia, were not willing to provoke a war to secure their 
ends, and on the several occasions when war occurred affairs 
in the north Pacific were of minor import, since England 
found herself confronted at her very doors not only by Spain 
but also by France and other enemies. Reverting again to 
the services of the military within the province, they were an 
essential part of the missions themselves. Not a mission was 
founded without soldiers, and none existed without them. 
Usually a corporal and five or six soldiers were assigned to 
each missidn to protect the friars from their charges and to 
render other services. 

The presidios were the social and political centres of Alta 
Califomia. In addition to the soldiers of the garrision, their 
families were also present. Later, others came, and veritable 
towns sprang up. Recognizing this, the Spanish authorities 
established a formal pueblo, or town, government for the 
presidial establishments by a law of the year 1791. This 
went into effect in 1794. Monterey, as the capital and resi- 

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dence of the governor, was the most important presidial 
town. It was the principal resort of provincial society, the 
place to which the rancher made his way and to which 
foreign navigators and traders paid their visits, — ^though 
the latter, indeed, were well acquainted with the whole 
coast, especially with San Francisco. 

Life at the presidios was characterized first of all by at- 
tention to miUtary affairs. But there was a much more 
agreeable side: 

''Life was one continuous round of hospitality and social amen- 
ities, tempered with vigorous outdoor sport. There were no hotels 
in California. Every door was open, and food, lodging, a fresh 
horse, and money, even, were free to the guest, whether friend or 
stranger. No wlute man had to concern himself greatly with work, 
and even school books were a thing apart. Music, games, dancing, 
and sprightly conversation — these were the occupations of the time 
— these constituted education. Also, men and women were much 
in the open; all were expert horsemen, could throw a lasso, and 
shoot unerringly, even the women, accomplishments which fitted 
their type of Me, and made hunting a general pastime. When for- 
eign ships came, there were balls and the gayest of festivals, nor 
were these visits the only occasion for that type of entertainment." 

This paragraph, though written with respect to the province 
in general, is particularly appUcable to the presidial towns. 
There were, however, prominent vices. The Calif omians 
shared in the almost universal Hispanic American proclivity 
for gambUng. They drank heavily of very nearly raw liquor, 
as well as of fine wines when they could get them. And they 
did not resist the temptations afforded by the proximity 
of the womenof asubjectrace. On the other hand, therewas 
a plenitude of romantic love-making among themselves, — 
in all earnest, this, — followed usually by an early marriage 
and the rearing of a large family. 

Economically the presidios depended for many years on 
the San Bias ships. The need for supplies of food through 
this medium grew less and less until it disappeared, but 
goods and effects were always required. With the outbreak 
of the Spanish American Wars of Independence in 1810, the 
supply-ships ceased to come for a number of years, and never 

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again resumed a regular traffic. Then it was that the missions 
enabled the presidios to get the things which formerly had 
been provid^ by the government. Foreign vessels suppUed 
the goods, which were paid for with mission products. The 
presidial conunanders gave drafts on the Spanish treasury 
to the missionaries, — and the drafts were never honored. 
Indian slavery, stock-raising, agriculture, and ilUcit trade 
existed at the presidios, but much less in proportion than in 
the other types of settlement, though commerce with foreign 
ships was to a great extent carried on at certain presidial 
posts under the eyes of the soldiery. 

In fine, the presidios were the principal centres in a world 
apart, — a happy Utopia from about 1782 to 1810. Even in 
those years many things were always lacking; the garrison 
at San Francisco once had to borrow powder from a Russian 
ship in order that it might fire a salute. After 1810, however, 
the misery of the soldiers and their families must have out- 
weighed the advantages of their comparative freedom from 
care. For ten years they received no pay, and their lot was 
wretched indeed. Throughout the Spanish period there was 
some communication with New Spain by way of the penin- 
sula of Baja Califomia, but this route was suitable only for 
carrying mail and for the infrequent comings of individual 
settlers. The San Bias ships and foreign vessels remained the 
principal connecting links with the outside world. 

Far less important than either mission or presidio were 
the pueblos, or civilian ;towns. There were three of them: 
San Jose and Los Angeles, founded by Governor Neve, 
respectively in 1777 and 1781, and Branciforte, founded by 
Governor Borica in 1797. The last-named was of such scant 
importance that its identity was eventually lost in that of 
the mission, Santa Cruz, the name of which has been taken 
for the city now covering the sites of the former mission and 
pueblo. The inhabitants were of poorer quality than those 
of the presidial towns, and were of mongrel racial types. 
The original settlers of Los Angeles, for example, had far 
more Indian and negro blood than white, though all were 
part Spanish. Not one of them could read or write. By all 

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accounts they were a dissolute, immoral, lazy, gambling lot. 
Between 1792 and 1795 the pueblos received an increase in 
population through the sending of a number of artisans from 
Mexico; these artisans were also criminals. Present-day 
Califomians need not feel in the least surprised or shocked 
by these details. No pioneer country in real life is ever very 
lovely, especially if the inhabitants are unwilling settlers. 
Nor should the modest character of certain of the Spanish 
Califomians lessen one's pride in the greatness of their ser- 
vices. The case of Australia is in many respects a parallel. 
Some of the most capable men in Australia today are said 
to be descendants of criminals who were members of the 
penal colony at Botany Bay about a century ago. Many of 
the English settlers of the West Indies and what are now the 
southern states of this coimtry were quite as poor timber as 
the Spanish CalifomiaDS. 

In the early years following their establishment, the 
pueblos were maintained at state acpense, and the settlers 
even received the pay and rations of soldiers. Later, they 
were required to subsist by their own efforts, through the 
products of their stock-raising and agriculture. In times of 
need they were to serve as militia. As usually happens in 
the healthful atmosphere of the frontier, there gradually 
evolved a decent element; it was perhaps the first time that 
they or their families had had an opportunity. They were 
always looked down upon, however, by the upper-class 
society of Monterey and the other presidial towns. It was 
not until 1817 that the first beam of educational light pene- 
trated the murky depths of pueblo ignorance. In that year a 
school was opened in Los Angeles. In the following year 
San Jose's first school was established. Life in general 
resembled that of the presidial towns, but was on a much 
lower social plane. 

Least important of the types of settlement in Spanish days 
were the private ranches, but they should not be left out 
in any account of the pre-American beginnings of the Golden 
State. Of the some six hundred so-called "Spanish land 
grants," the overwhelming majority dated from the Mexican 

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era. The Spanish government was unfavorable to the in- 
stitution, preferring that the settlers should live in commu- 
nities, the better to ensure defence and the preservation of 
order. Some twenty such grants were made in the Spanish 
period, however, usually to retired presidial officers. The law 
provided that grants were to be not more than three square 
leagues (about twelve square miles), and they were not to 
infringe upon the lands of missions, pueblos , or Indian towns. 
One of the most famous of these grants was that given to 
Luis Peralta in 1820. Little did the Spanish soldier who 
received it realize how his estates would appear at the end 
of a century. Today there are hundreds of thousands of 
people upon them, for the thriving cities of Alameda, Oak- 
land, and Berkeley have been carved out of the old Peralta 
holdings. On them too are the grounds of one of the largest 
educational plants in the United States, the University of 

The laws were not alwajrs carried out to the letter in 
awarding grants, especially those affecting boundaries. Vast 
as were their estates, the ranchers wanted more. In the Mexi- 
can period they were indeed given larger areas, receiving as 
much as eleven square leagues (about thirty-eight square 
miles). What they wanted most of all was the particularly 
good land in the control of the missionaries. Naturally, the 
missionaries resented the ranchers' encroachments, and 
there was a never-ending quarrel between them. 

On his ranch the owner was like a little king, with many 
Indian dependents. The sole economic basis of the ranch 
was stock; of agriculture there was none. After 1828, when 
the Mexican government granted freedom of trade, the 
ranchers became wealthy from their sales of hides and tallow 
to the foreign ships. On the rare occasions when visitors 
or wayfarers stopped at a ranch, the owner entertained 
bountifully. His home and everything in it were at the 
disposal of his guests. It was even the custom to leave money 
in the guest-chamber, which the visitor was expected to take 
if he needed it, thus delicately obviating the necessity of a 
verbal request for help. When the guest left, he could count 

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on receiving a horse to carry him along his way. Except for 
occasional trips to Monterey or some other town, this was all 
that there was of social amenities in the life of the rancher. 

The poUtical system of Alta California was that of an 
absolutism. The fundamental documents were the already 
discussed Echeveste reglamento (1773), the instructions to 
Rivera (1773) and Neve (1776), and especially the Neve 
reglamento (1779), which ruled in the province for more than 
forty years. The governor was the military and political 
head, uniting all the functions of government in his own 
person — executive, legislative, and judicial. According to 
the changes of jurisdiction he was subject either to the vice- 
roy or the commandant-general in military and political 
affairs, but to the Audienda of Guadalajara in judicial 
matters. Owing to the greatness in distance and time sepa- 
rating him from the viceroyalty he was in fact a veritable 
dictator. A strong viceroy, like Bucareli, could impose his 
will upon him, but otherwise there was very slight control 
by the authorities in New §pain, though their right to it was 
absolute. Subject to the governor, the captains of presidios 
exercised in their own district the same type of authority 
that the governor did in the province, with the reservation 
of a right of appeal to the governor in certain cases. With a 
like appeal to the governor the corporals at the missions 
had authority over their men and criminal jurisdiction over 
the Indians. They frequently clashed with the missionaries 
as to the dividing line where the power of the corporals 
ceased and that of the missionaries began. 

The puebloSf in theory, had a measure of independence 
which they did not possess in fact. Just as the medieval 
Spanish khigs established their authority in towns through 
their agents, the corregidoreSf so did the governors set up 
theirs in Alta California by placing comisionadoB (commis- 
sioners) of their own appointment in the pueblo$. They were 
supposed to representthegovemorandto administer justice. 
In practice their word was law, save only in the case of an 
appeal to the governor. With the consent of the comisionado^ 
or at least in such matters as he did not oppose, certain local 

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officials might act. These were the alcalde, a kind of mayor 
and petty justice combined (though in Spanish California 
the comisionado more often exercised the judicial power), 
and the regidores, or members of the town coimcil. 

The missionaries had the power of the father of a family 
over the Indians at the mission, amounting to economic 
ownership of the Indians and extensive civil authority, 
exercised with the aid of Indian alcaldes, whom they virtually 
selected, though in theory the Indians themselves elected 
them. The governor had superior rights in criminal jurisdic- 
tion, military affairs, and matters of general policy, but 
otherwise was not supposed to intervene. Within the sphere 
of his powers the Father-President was absolute, subject 
however to the College of San Fernando in Mexico. The 
individual missionaries had a similar power, subject to the 
Father-President, at their missions. 

So much has already been said of the social and economic 
factors in the life of Alta California, that a bare sununary 
will suffice here. With respect to the former it should be 
pointed out that there never was anything approaching a 
democratic, dead level in the society of the province such 
as was the case in the western territories of the United 
States. There were very marked social differences, based on 
rank (usually military) and blood, and very distinctly there 
was a Spanish Calif omian aristocracy, most, or all, of whose 
members lived in the presidial towns or on the ranches. 
As affecting the blood of the inhabitants it is to be noted that 
Alta California became a veritable haven for foreign white 
sailors, who came for short intervals or (toward the end of 
the Spanish period, but more particularly in later years) 
to reside permanently in the province. In part due to their 
advent the Indian and negro blood of the mestizos tended 
gradually to disappear. 

The economic basis of Alta California was for many years 
that of government aid. A little help from Baja California 
was received at the outset; afterwards, there was nothing 
from that quarter. The short period in which the Anza route 
was used enabled the province to prociu^ indispensable 

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assistance. And down to 1810 the San Bias ships came regu- 
larly. Stock-raising and agriculture at the missions early 
began to help in the problem of subsistence. Later, the same 
occupations developed at the jmehlos, though in less degree 
than at the missions, and a stock-raising industry came 
into being at the ranches. The sale of hides and tallow 
and food supplies to foreign ships was the foundation for a 
beginning of commerce, which made up for the eventual 
failure of the San Bias boats. Through these foreign vessels 
Alta California first came in contact with luxuries as well as 
with other more essential articles of manufacture 

The intellectual attainments of the Spanish Calif omians 
do not call for protracted description. Education, when it 
existed at all, was made up of little more than instruction 
in the catechism and reading and writing. A large proportion 
of the Spanish-blooded population was wholly unlettered. 
There were no regular schools. By fits and starts the various 
settlements would hire, or dispense with, a teacher, who 
assuredly could not have pretended to be a master at his 
trade. The Califomians had Uttle idea of events or condi- 
tions in the world outside. The United States was habituaUy 
referred to as "Boston," since the American vessels were 
almost invariably "Boston ships.'* In the arts of conversa- 
tion, dancing, and the playing of simple musical instruments, 
especially the guitar, they were indeed accomplished. These 
things they drank in with their mother's milk as part of their 
heritage from Spain. 

This then was that out-of-the-world Alta California, xxn- 
conscious of its destiny and of the really important part it 
was playing. These were the principal institutions in what 
Morse Stephens has called 

''that Spaniah background against which is now reared one of the 
proudest and most self-conscious States of the United States of 

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If there is any period of California history with respect 
to which one has a right to relegate matters of great import 
to a secondary place and to deal primarily with a£Fairs of 
the moment^ that embraced by the years 1782 to 1810 may 
very well be selected. Before that time the problems of mak- 
ing and conserving the Spanish establishments and of bare 
existence were too absorbing to permit of anything else out- 
stripping them in the eyes of the inhabitants themselves or 
in the writings of posterity. After 1810 internal difficulties 
multiplied, and notable events took place which demand 
attention because of their effect on the ultimate destiny of 
the province^ wherefore pleasant gossip takes its usual place in 
the background. Even in the years of the "romantic period'^ 
there were happenings of note. This was the time of the 
Nootka affair, when the long Spanish advance was stopped; 
this was the era of the awakening of foreign interest, when 
the English, Russians, and Americans had their earliest 
contacts with Alta California; and these were years when 
within the province the questions of subsistence and of set- 
tled life were resolved. Yet all of these matters were either 
the "tag-ends" of what had gone before or else the mere 
beginnings of greater affairs to come, and they may be 
treated more appropriately at the same time with events 
of earlier or later periods. By 1782 the last group of settlers 
who had come by the Anza route had established themselves 
in their new homes. In that year, too, the fiery but lovable 
Catalan, Pedro Fages, arrived, to begin his second term of 
office as governor of the province. In 1810 came the outbreak 


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of the Spanish American Wars of Independence, which 
brought about a cessation of the voyages of the San Bias 
boats. It is the function of this chapter to record some of the 
occurrences in the intervening years which seemed inter- 
esting at the time to the Spanish Califomians themselves. 

Governor Fages, some years before, had married Eulalia 
de Callis, a Catalan lady of quality who was even more of a 
firebrand than was the good Don Pedro himself. When 
Fages went to Alta California for the second time. Dona 
Eulalia and her son Pedro remained behind. Fages very 
much wanted them to be with him, and wrote a number of 
letters which have a peculiarly modem sound in their demon- 
stration of the meagre reach of his marital authority. For 
example, he wrote to Captain Jos6 Antonio de Rom6u in 
Sonora to "use his influence" to induce Dona Eulalia to 
come; evidently he despaired of his own powers of persua- 
sion. Dona Eulalia at first refused, but both Neve and 
Rom^u joined forces to assure her that Alta California was 
not wholly barbarous, wherefore she consented to join her 
husband there. As far as Loreto she was escorted by Captain 
Joaquin Canete. There, in May 1782, she was met by 
Fages. Between July 1782 and January 1783, Dofia Eulalia 
made the long journey to Monterey. The whole trip was 
something in the nature of a royal progress, for there was a 
succession of receptions in her honor given by the mission- 
aries, soldiers, settlers, and even the Indians. Indeed, her 
coming was a great event. Not only was she the wife of the 
governor, but she was also the first lady of rank and social 
standing who had ever visited the province. 

However Dofia Eulalia may have enjoyed the attentions 
showered upon her, she was shocked by conditions as she 
found them. In particular she was distressed by the number 
of naked Indians that she saw. Thereupon she began im- 
pulsively to give away both her own clothes and those of 
Don Pedro, until the latter pointed out to her that she could 
not replenish their wardrobe; there were no shops in Alta 
California. That checked Dofia Eulalia's reckless generosity, 

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THE ROMANTIC PERIOD, 1782-1810 399 

though it is true that she continued to deserve a reputation 
for charity. She managed to ''endure " Alta California imtil 
after the birth of her daughter (August 3, 1784), Then she 
announced that she had had enough. And straightway 
there was trouble. 

Unable to persuade Don Pedro to allow her to pack herself 
and her children off to New Spain, Dofla Eulalia resorted to 
coercive measures against her legal lord and master. She 
exiled him from her apartments, and during three months 
made him keep his distance, hardly so much as communi- 
cating with him. Finding that Fages did not respond to 
absent treatment, Dofia Eulalia became suspicious, and at 
length convinced, though without justifiable grounds, 
that Fages was paying altogether too much attention to a 
servant girl whom he had picked up among the Indians of 
the Colorado. Thereupon she broke silence with Fages, 
and accused him of infidelity in a torrent of words. More- 
over, she rushed into the street and "told everybody,*' 
vowing that she would get a divorce. The friars tried to 
reconcile her, and said that they found no grounds for a 
divorce. She responded that she would go to the infiemo 
(Hell) before she would go again to Fages« The friars or- 
dered her to stay at home in seclusion for a while and to do 
no more talking. 

The above incident took place in February 1785. It came 
at a time when Fages was obliged by gubernatorial duty to 
make a trip to the south. He therefore asked Father Noriega 
to take care of Dofia Eulalia at Mission San Carlos dur- 
ing his absence. Father Noriega consented, and sent for 
Dona Eulalia, but she refused to go, locking herself and her 
babies in her room. Then the much-tried Don Pedro showed 
his temper. He broke down the door, and when his gentle 
helpmeet still refused to go to the mission threatened to tie 
her up and take her. So Dona Eulalia went She made the 
friars pay for her humiliation. During her stay at the mis- 
sion they could not manage her at all. She put on display 
some of her outbreaks in the church itself, to the great 

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Bcandal of all who witnessed them. Indeed, the friars be- 
came so much out of patience with her that at one time they 
threatened to flog her and put her in chains. Thqr did not 
yield to the impulse, however. 

At length, after a quarrel of about a year, Fages and his 
wife were reconciled, in September 1786. The governor had 
desired it, all along, for he was in fact devoted to Dona 
EulaUa. The latter became satisfied that her charges against 
Fages were imfounded, and consented to return to him. 
From this time forth, there is no further evidence of unto- 
ward incidents between them, — ^but it is likely under the 
circumstances that they occurred, for Dofla Eulalia did not 
give up her attempts to get away from Alta California. In 
the very next month after their reconciliation she wrote a 
petition to the Avdiencia of Guadalajara asking for Fages' 
removal on the alleged ground of his ill-health. Fages did 
not know of the petition until after it had been sent. He 
then made every effort to head it oflf, and was successful. 
The documents do not say what happened in the meantime 
at the gubernatorial residence. 

Dona Eulalia seems .finally to have won the fight. Early 
in 1790 Fages himself asked to be relieved. His petition was 
granted, and Jos^ Antonio de Rom^u was appointed in his 
place. In the fall of 1790, as soon as the news reached Mon- 
terey, Eulalia and her children took the San Bias boat, and 
left the province. Fages had been told that he need not await 
the coming of his successor, but he stayed on for another 
year, until October or November 1791. He probably joined 
his family in Mexico City, and is supposed to have died in 

Pedro Fages was a man of no inconsiderable ability and 
even intellectual capacity. His reports merit more study 
than they have yet received. Not only are they full of in- 
formation about the province, but they are also well organ- 
ized and well written. He had many amiable and appealing 
qualities. He was brave, energetic, and dashing, and was also 
conscientious. He was exceedingly fond of children; they 

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THE ROMANTIC PERIOD, 1782-1810 401 

could count on him for sweets, which he carried about with 
him in his pockets for their delectation. He was indeed hot- 
tempered, — ^Who can blame him! — ^but his exhibitions of 
temper served only to bring out by contrast the essential 
generosity and kindliness of his nature. Furthermore, he 
was devoted to Alta Califomia, and not eager to get away, 
as his predecessors had been. This love for the province 
had one of its manifestations in the interest he took in his 
estate at Monterey. He had an orchard of some six hundred 
fruit-trees, besides shrubs and grape-vines, and was proud 
of it. Altogether, Cahfomians should remember Pedro 
Fages as one of the best governors of the Spanish era. 

Much has already been said about Alta California's 
problems concerning food-supply and domestic animals. 
Prices current in Fages' time help to show that these di£B- 
culties had been pretty well solved. Counting the peso as 
equivalent to the dollar, but remembering the very great 
difference between the value of money then and now, some 
figures may be given, for purposes of illustration. Horses 
cost from $3 to $9, but saddles were more expensive, — $12 
to $16. Sheep brought from $.75 to $2. Mules were worth 
from $14 to $20; they served as beasts of burden, which were 
always less numerous and more in demand than other ani- 
mals, and therefore more costly. The price of meat may well 
make any modem house-keeper sigh. One could get a dozen 
quail for $.25. Jerked beef was worth $.03 a pound and 
fresh beef only $.01! Eggs, however, were high, — at $.24 
a dozen. 

One of the most interesting as well as most important 
features of the closing years of the eighteenth century was 
the coming of foreign ships to Alta California. Down to 
1786 none but Spanish vessels had visited the province, but 
in that year a famous French voyager, the already-men- 
tioned Comte de Lap^rouse, put in at Monterey, and made 
a beginning of Spanish CaUfomia's communication with 
the outside world. Lap^rouse had been sent out by the 
French government on a voyage of exploration and scientific 
discovery around the world, but was also to be on the look- 

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out for lands which might eventually become French col- 
onies. He was instructed to find out the condition, force, 
and aim of the Spanish settlements in the Calif omias, note 
at what degree of latitude the fur trade began, and report 
on the facilities there might be for French establishments 
north of Monterey. 

Leaving France in August 1785 Lap6rouse followed Ck>ok's 
route around South America to the Hawaiian Islands and 
the northwest coast, which he touched on July 4, 1786, in 
68°37'. Proceeding down the coast he reached Monterey 
on September 14, 1786, staying only until the 24th. He met 
with a most generous reception on the part of Governor 
Fages, Father-President Lasu^n, and others. The Spanish 
settlers at first refused to take pay for the supplies he pro- 
cured from them. At length they consented, but would 
not take much. There were entertainments to the limit of 
the province's capacity. One can well imagine that Dona 
Eulalia must have been at her best on these occasions. 

Lap^rouse and his companions made good use of their 
ten-day stay by getting an adequate idea of conditions in 
the province. Indeed, their description has been charac- 
terized as one of the most remarkable ever made for its ''ac- 
curacy, comprehensiveness, and kindly fairness.'' There 
was much in it of scientific character about geography, 
climate, resources, and Indians. The military and political 
functions and the mission system were also covered. They 
looked forward to a great future for Alta California, but 
felt that progress would be slow under Spanish rule. The 
fur trade was the only immediate economic prospect, they 
said, and gave their further opinion that it would be a 
century, or perhaps two centuries, before Alta California 
would attract the attention of maritime powers. They 
could not foresee the discovery of gold, which was to hasten 
the development of the Pacific coast. Leaving Alta Califor- 
nia, Lap6rouse crossed over to China. In 1788 he was in 
New Zealand. This was the last that was ever heard of 
him. Undoubtedly his ship and all on board were lost in one 
of the many imrecorded disasters of maritime historv. 

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THE ROMANTIC PERIOD, 1782-1810 403 

Fortunately for posterity he had just previously forwarded 
his journal to France. 

In 1788 the first American ships appeared on the coast of 
of the Califomias, though far north of the settled part in 
Alta California. These were the Columbia and Lady Wash- 
ingUm, commanded respectively by Captains James Kendrick 
and Robert Gray^ the first American navigators to sail in 
the waters of the Pacific. Their principal interest in the 
present account is the attitude of the Spanish authorities 
toward them. In May 1789, acting on advices from New 
Spain, Governor Fages wrote to Jos6 Dario Arguello, com- 
mander of the presidio of San Francisco, warning him that a 
boat called the Columbia, ^ Vhich is said to belong to General 
Washington,'^ had entered the Pacific with a companion ship 
in order to make discoveries and inspect the existing Russian 
settlements. Arguello was ordered to capture these vessels 
if they should come to San Francisco. This document is 
the earliest reference to the United States that has thus far 
been found in the annals of Alta California. From this time 
forward, mention of the United States was more frequent. 
As already stated, the term " Boston*' usually served for 
the entire country on the opposite coast of the continent. 
For example, an Indian from Nootka who was baptized at 
Soledad in May 1793 was described as the son of an Indian 
killed by Captain Gray of the ship Lady Washington "be- 
longing to the Congress of Boston.*' 

As for Kendrick and Gray, they avoided the dire (?) 
fate that may have been in store for them by failing to make 
port in Alta California. Gray is believed to have first 
reached coast off the northern part of what is now the state 
of California. This he did on August 2, 1788. Thence he 
proceeded northward to Nootka, where presently he was 
joined by Kendrick in the Columbia. In the next year Gray 
transferred to the Columbia, took her to China (where he 
picked up a cargo of tea), and went on around the world, 
arriving in Boston in 179k), this being the first time that 
a ship flving the American flag had ever encircled the 

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It was not long afterward that an American did come to 
Alta Califomia. He was a member of the famous Spanish 
voyage of discovery of the Deacybierta and Atrevida, under 
the command of Alejandro Malaspina. Malaspina had left 
Spain in 1789 with the object of making scientific explora- 
tions in various lands of the Pacific. After a considerable 
stay in South America, he struck for the northwest coast of 
the northern continent, which he reached above 60®. Here 
his principal object was to decide, once for all, whether the 
much talked of Strait of Aniin in fact existed. He therefore 
made careful surveys of the coast all the way down to Mon- 
terey, which he reached on September 13, 1791. In his ship's 
company was a certain *'JohnGroem" (Graham? Groom?), 
who was described as having come originally from "Boston;" 
he had shipped at Cddiz as a gunner. This man, the first 
American to reach Alta Califomia, came there to stay. He 
was landed at Monterey and buried on the day of Malaspina's 
arrival. As for Malaspina he departed from the Alta Cali- 
fomia capital on the 25th of September. 

It was only a few weeks after this event that Rom^u took 
over from Fages the government of the province. Nothing of 
special interest occurred during Roman's brief rule. The new 
governor was in poor health. In 1792 he died and Jos6 
Joaquin de Arrillaga, at the time governor of Baja Califor- 
nia, became acting-governor of the northern province, a 
post which he held for two years. Arrillaga, who was again 
to be governor (in full proprietorship, at the later time) 
from 1802 to 1814, deserves at least passing notice as a 
respectable figure in Califomia history. He was a native of 
the Basque province of Guiptizcoa in Spain, but had served 
for many years in the New World. He was honest, of ex- 
cellent character in private life, and a devout Christian. 
In that he knew how to obey orders to the letter and execute 
them he was efficient, but there was nothing of initiative or 
originality about him. He was severely criticized by the 
English navigator George Vancouver, but rarely by others. 
All in all, he was not a great governor, but was a worthy 

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THE ROMANTIC PERIOD, 1782-1810 405 

It was during the earlier administration of Arrillaga that 
the three visits of Vancouver to Alta California were made. 
The Nootka controversy of 1789-1794 brought many ves- 
sels, mostly Spanish, to Alta Califomia*. On November 
14, 1792, Vancouver, who had come down the coast from 
Nootka, entered San Francisco Bay on his ship the Discovery ^ 
the first vessel other than those of the Spaniards which had 
ever put in at that port. A few days later, a second English 
ship, the Chatham, under William Broughton, entered the 
bay. Hermenegildo Sal was for the moment in command 
at San Francisco. He gave the visiting sailors a most cordial 
reception, and furnished them with supplies for which he 
would take no pay, though he did accept on behalf of the 
presidio and mission certain implements and ornaments and 
a hogshead each of wine and rum. During Vancouver's 
stay of twelve days there were many entertainments. On 
one occasion, too, the English commander was permitted 
to go down the peninsula to the mission of Santa Clara. 

Leaving San Francisco on November 26, Vancouver en- 
tered the Bay of Monterey on the 27th. Here he found 
another of his own fleet, the Daedalus, and various Spanish 
ships under Bodega. Jos6 Darfo ArgUello was temporarily 
in charge, in the absence of Governor Arrillaga, and he pro- 
vided entertainment for his visitors on the greatest scale 
that Alta California had yet known. During the some fifty 
days of Vancouver's stay, there was a never-ending show of 
hospitality, both at the presidio and at the mission. As the 
English vessels prepared to depart they were again furnished 
with supplies free of charge. Among other things, the 
Daedalus received a cargo of cattle which it took to Austra- 
lia; these were to be the first animals of that type in the great 
island continent. On January 15, 1793, both the English 
ships and the Spanish sailed away. 

Arrillaga had been in Baja CaUfomia during the period 
of Vancouver's visit. When he heard of the cordial reception 

^ During these five yean the Span- the Spanuh settlements in the old 
ish Kovernment maintained a post "Caliiomias" ever reached, 
at Nootka, the farthest north that 

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which had been extended to the English navigator and his 
companions he was greatly displeased, especially because of 
the trip to Santa Clara which Sal had permitted Vancouver 
to make. The laws stipulated certain precautions against 
the entry of foreign ships and against their discovering the 
real weakness of the Spanish establishments. As a temporary 
governor, Arrillaga wished to take as little positive action 
as possible and merely hold the province, as it was, for the 
official who would soon succeed him. The courtesies to Van- 
couver, he feared, might call down a reprimand upon him- 
self. He therefore issued orders that they were not to be 
repeated in future. Foreign vessels could be furnished with 
suppHes, but that was all. 

In the spring of 1793 Vancouver retiuned from the Ha- 
waiian Islands, and spent several months exploring the coasts 
of ''New Albion," as with Brittanic persistence he insisted 
upon calling the Calif omias, with a view to perpetuating the 
name applied by Drake. At length, he tinned south and on 
October 19 entered San Francisco Bay, eagerly looking for- 
ward to more pleasures like those he had experienced the 
year before. His expectations were doomed to meet with 
a rude shock. He himself was treated courteously, but hia 
men were not allowed to land, and he was asked about the 
object and length of his stay. Incensed at this treatment, 
Vancouver requested an explanation, and was informed that 
it was done at Governor Arrillaga's orders. After a stay of 
five days Vancouver left San Francisco. On November 
1st he was at Monterey. This time his stay did not drag on 
into weeks and months. It lasted just four days. The San 
Francisco reception was repeated, possibly with a little 
more strictness, since ArriUaga himself was then at Monte- 
rey. In his anger at the Spanish governor, Vancouver has 
represented the situation as woiise than it was. In fact he 
was allowed to buy supplies on credit, land his m^i for 
exercise dasrtimes (though at a stipulated place), procure 
wood and water, and take astronomical observations. 

On November 10 Vancouver reached Santa Barbara, 
where Felipe de Goicoechea was in command. The same sorts 

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THE ROMANTIC PERIOD, 1782-1810 407 

of restrictions were met with, but the Spanish official chose 
to interpret them more liberally. Indeed, Vancouver was 
received so much more cordially than he had expected that 
he remained there eight days, and spoke of his stay at Santa 
Barbara in glowing terms. Going south he stopped a day 
at Ventura, and then sailed on to San Diego, which he 
reached on November 27. Here again Anillaga's regulations 
were applied in a generous spirit. After a visit of twelve 
days, Vancouver set sail on December 9 for the Hawaiian 

In 1794, coming from Nootka, Vancouver paid his third 
and last visit to Alta Califomia. This time he did not have 
to encounter the literal-minded Arrillaga. Reaching Monte^ 
rey on November 6 he found his old friend Jo86 Darlo 
Arg&ello in command. On the 9th or the 11th Diego Borica, 
the new governor, arrived. Many courtesies were extended 
by these officers, and things were made so pleasant for Van- 
couver that he remained for nearly a month, until December 
2. Then, having taken on board a stock of provisions, he 
set sail for England by way of Cape Horn, exploring the 
coasts of South America as he went. In other days these 
activities as well as his earlier presence along the upper 
Calif omias coast would have been the signal for a series of 
Spanish voyages and conquests in avoidance of the English 
peril. That time had passed, however, and Vancouver's 
visits take their place merely in the group of interesting but 
unimportant incidents in the history of the province. 

Vancouver, like Lap^rouse, was much impressed by the 
natural advantages of Alta Califomia, but criticized the 
Spaniards for their failure to make due use of their sur- 
roundings, marvelling at the weakness of their establish- 
ments. Alta California's greatest need, he said, was the 
stimulus of commerce, so as to create new wants and new 
industries and give a new value to lands and produce. With 
the exception of the Santa Barbara Indians he characterized 
the natives as the most miserable race he had ever seen. 
For the friars, who had always received him well, he had 
nothing but words of enthusiastic praise. Other Spaniards^ 

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too, impressed him favorably as individuals, save only 
Anillaga, upon whom he fairly emptied the vials of his 

Diego Borica, who had taken over the government at the 
time of Vancouver's last visit, was one of the most attractive 
figures of Spanish days, and should rank next after Neve and 
Fages among the best governors of that period. like his 
immediate predecessor he was a Basque, but from the 
province of Alava. After a long military career in New 
Spain he had risen to the rank of lieutenant-colonel at the 
time of his appointment to Alta California. Later, he received 
a colonelcy. Borica was a most jovial character. His letters, 
even in his official correspondence, are teeming with wit 
and good humor. He seems also to have been a convivial 
diner. Vancouver, Puget," Alava,' and Fidalgo* were all 
good fellows, he once declared, but no better than he ''before 
a dozen of Rhine wine port, or Madeira." With charac- 
teristic optimism, too, he took deUght in his surroundings, 
which many of his predecessors had been far from appre- 
ciating. "To live much, and without care," he once wrote, 
"come to Monterey." Within a few weeks of his arrival 
he penned the following glowing description: 

"This is a great country; climate healthful, between cold and 
temperate; good bread, excellent meat, tolerable fish; and bon 
humeur which is worth all the rest. Plenty to eat, but the most 
astounding is the general fecundity, both of rationals and irra- 
tionals. The climate is so good that all are getting to look like 
Englishmen.^ This is the most peaceful and quiet country in the 
world; one lives better here than in the most cultured court of 

Unfortimately no very thorough-going study has yet been 
made of Borica's career. The student who approaches it 
will most certainly find it replete with human interest. 

During Borica's term, which lasted from 1794 to 1800, 
a number of foreign ships visited the province. After Van- 

' One of Vancouyer'B officers. ' From the translation in Bancroft 

> Spanish naval officers. This is in fact made up of excerpts 

* Tnat is, fairer in features than from seveial letters, 
was usual in Spanish America. 

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THE ROMANTIC PERIOD, 1782-1810 409 

couver there came the English ship Phoenix in 1795, corn- 
commanded by Thomas Moore. The Phoenix stopped at 
Santa Barbara only. In 1796 William Broughton, coming 
from Nootka in the Discovery, touched at Monterey. In 
that same year the first United States vessel ever to anchor 
in Alta California ports put in an appearance. This was the 
naval vessel OUeT^ of six guns and twenty-six men, com- 
manded by Ebenezer Dorr. The Otter was at Monterey 
from October 29 to November 6, where it took on a supply 
of wood and water. Dorr asked permission to put ashore 
some English sailors, a request that Borica was of course 
obliged to refuse. Dorr left them, anyway, ten men and a 
woman, who were in fact convicts from Botany Bay. In 
the light of the courtesies which he had extended, Borica 
quite naturally regarded this act as dishonorable. He put 
the men to work, and later sent the whole group to New 
Spain. In 1799 Captain James Rowan in the Eliza stopped 
at San Francisco, and in 1800 Captain Charles Winship of 
the Betsy put in at San Diego. Both ships were American. 
A number of other foreign vessels passed up and down the 
coast, but did not make port. Meanwhile, the Spanish ves- 
sels from San Bias and Manila came in or went by, as usual. 
Borica's administration was one of general progress, rather 
than of outstanding events. All ranks of society received 
aid and encouragement. This was the era of Lasu^n's great* 
est activity as Father-President, rendered possible by the 
harmonious and friendly relations between him and the 
governor. In this period the social life of Monterey was in 
one of its most interesting stages. Not only did the governor 
contribute to make it so, but so also did his wife (a wealthy 
woman) and daughter, both of whom were popular. When 
his term expired, he sailed from San Diego for New Spain 
in January 1800. Going to Durango he died there on July 
19 of the same year. Pedro de Albemi, commander of the 
Catalan company, succeeded to the governorship on the 
departure of Borica. Nothing of note happened during his 
brief rule. Albemi himself seems to have been a popular 
governor. He died at Monterey in 1802, 

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Amllaga now came into power for the second time, and 
remained in command until his death at Soledad mission in 
1814. Ahnost at the outset, on June 26, 1803, the old Father- 
President, Fermfn Francisco de Lasu^n, passed away. In 
the next year came the final separation of Alta and Baja 
California. Other events of Arrillaga's term may in the 
main be treated elsewhere, with a mere mention here of their 
general character. From this time forward great numbers of 
foreign vessels visited the province, — ^fur-traders, whalers, 
seekers of hides and tallow. Practically all of them engaged 
to a greater or less extent in contraband trade. Eventu- 
ally, most of these ships came to be American, owing to the 
diversion effected by the Napoleonic wars in Europe, which, 
fortunately for the Americas, called forth the entire efforts 
and resources of the great over-seas colonizing powers. 
Spanish explorations beyond the Coast Range became more 
or less frequent, to the accompaniment, now and then, of 
battles with the Indians. The Russians appeared along the 
Alta California coast, and in 1812 founded settlements north 
of San Francisco Bay. Considerably farther north the Eng- 
lish were making slow progress across the continent in an 
advance which was not long afterward to bring the Hud- 
son's Bay Company within the boundaries of Alta Califor- 
nia itself. And in 1810 came the b^inning of the already- 
mentioned Spanish American Wars of Independence. 

The activities of the Russians in Alta Calif omia are much 
more important as affecting the eventual American occu- 
pation than as concerns the purely local narrative of Spanish 
and Mexican days, wherefore it may more properly be left 
for treatment to the historian of American California. 
There is one incident, however, which belongs to Spain and 
contemporary romance. That is the story of the courtship 
of Rezdnof the Russian and Concepci6n Arguello. 

Something has already been said about the advance of the 
Russians across Siberia and of their voyages to Alaskan 
waters, culminating in the founding of Sitka in 1799. In 
Alaska they experienced in even greater d^ree than had the 
Spaniards in Alta California the difficulties attending settle- 

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THE ROMANTIC PERIOD, 1782-1810 411 

ment in a new and distant land. They found furs in abun- 
dance^ but lacked food supplies, and could not themselves 
produce them in the quality and amount required. This 
explains the Russian voyages to Alta California. That 
province was the nearest point from which they could ob- 
tain the food on which their very lives depended. Early 
in the century the Russians in the "frozen north" began to 
hear tales of "sunny California" from English and American 
traders. In 1806 Nikolai Petrovitch Rezdnof, imperial 
inspector and plenipotentiary of the Russian American 
Company, reached Sitka, charged with the duty of investi- 
gating and improving the Russian colonies. He came to 
Sitka at a time of great distress and famine at that settle- 
ment, — reminding one of early days in Alta California. One 
of the two Russian supply-ships had been wrecked, and the 
other for that year did not come. There was very little food 
on hand, and no way to get more. People began to eat 
eagles, crows, devil-fish, and almost anything that teeth 
could bite, and, as a result, scurvy and death made their 
appearance. To add to their misery the colonists were in 
the midst of a season of cold rains. Luckily for them, the 
American ship Juno (Captain Wolfe) put in at Sitka. Re- 
zdnof bought both the ship and the entire cargo. The relief 
was substantial, but was only temporary. Rezdnof therefore 
decided to take the Juno and go to Alta Califomia in search 
of supplies. 

Accompanied by the surgeon and naturalist Dr. Georg 
Heinrich von Langsdorff, Rezdnof left Sitka on March 8, 
1806. Nearly all of the crew had scurvy, and the voyage was 
a race with death. On April 5, the Juno approached the en- 
trance to San Francisco Bay. This was an anxious moment. 
Would the Spaniards try to stop them? But Rezdnof was 
desperate, and resolved to pass the fort at any risk. The 
story goes that the Spanish guard called out: ''What ship 
is that?" 

"Russian," answered Rezdnof. 

''Let go your anchor," came the orders from the shore. 

"Yes, sir! Yes, sir!" Rezdnof replied, — ^but kept the ship 

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going until it was well inside the harbor and out of range. 
There he was saf e, for there was not so much as a row-boat 
within the bay. 

The entry into the Bay of San Francisco was against 
Spanish law, as Rezdnof well knew. NatinraUy, therefore, he 
felt considerable apprehension over the success of his mis- 
sion. He/uidtogetsupphes! But in the light of his disregard 
of the challenge from the fort, would the Spaniards furnish 
them? It would not do, either, to make known how weak 
were the Russian settlements; Spain and Russia were not at 
that time so friendly as they became after Napoleon's in- 
vasion of the Spanish peninsula in 1808, and the existence of 
Russian Alaska might be endangered if the Spaniards knew 
what an easy prey it would be. 

Finding that no boats came out to the JunOj Rez&iof at 
length sent Langsdorflf and Lieutenant Davidoflf ashore. 
They were met by Luis Argiiello, in temporary command at 
San Francisco, in the absence of Jos^ Darfo, his father. With 
Arguello was Father Francisco Urfa of the mission. It is 
said that Langsdorff and Urfa carried on the conversation 
in Latin, since none of the four knew both Spanish and 
Russian/ At any rate, the Russians were well received. 
It happened that orders had arrived telling of a Russian 
voyage of discovery aroimd the world and calling upon the 
authorities in Alta California to treat the foreign navi- 
gators with courtesy if they should come to the province. 
Arguello had at first believed that the Juno might be one of 
the ships in question. So he entertained Rezdnof and his 
officers at the Arguello home. There Rezdnof explained that 
the ships of which Argtiello had been informed had returned 
to Russia. Wishing to make an impression he annoimced 
that he himself was the ruler of the Russian possessions in 
North America, and said that he had come to Alta Califor- 
nia to consult the governor about mutual interests. He was 
silent concerning his real object, — ^to procure supplies to 
keep the Russians in the north from starving, — ^lest he 

• This would seem to cast some manner of passing the fort when he 
doubt on the tale about Ras^ol's entered the bay. 

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THE ROMANTIC PERIOD, 1782-1810 4l3 

might compromise his chances of getting a cargo. He did not 
mention his urgent need, and did not ask to buy provisions. 
But he did make gifts to all who might help his cause, not 
merely to win their favor, but also to advertise the goods 
aboard the Juno. 

This policy met with initial success. The friars of various 
missions offered to barter food for some of the effects he 
had, if Governor Arrillaga's consent could be obtained. 
The news of Rezdnof s arrival having reached Monterey, 
the governor himself came up to San Francisco. Both Re- 
zdnof and Arrillaga could talk French; so negotiations now 
proceeded more easily. There followed a battle of wits be- 
tween the two men in which the Spaniard must be admitted 
to have carried off the honors. He succeeded in drawing 
out of Rezdnof that he wanted food supplies, but the Rus- 
sian claimed that he desired them only as samples to see if 
they were adapted to Alaska, and also argued the advantages 
of a mutual trade. Stickler for the letter of the law that he 
was, Arrillaga was about to refuse his consent to the pro- 
posed exchange, saying that he could not take a violation 
of the statutes on his conscience. It was at this moment 
that there intervened a powerful factor to save the day for 
Rezdnof . This new element was none other than a comely 
young woman, daughter of the conunander at San Francisco 
— Concepci6n Arguello. 

The story is told by Rez&nofs companion, Langsdorflf. 
He draws a contrast between Alaska, with its starvation 
and other hardships and its hideous squaws, and Alta Cali- 
fornia, where life ran the gamut of contentment in the abun- 
dance of things that were pleasurable and the happy 
indolence of the inhabitants. Here there was plenty to eat 
and drink, tobacco to smoke, much riding by day, and im- 
limited sleep at aU hours. Here were fair women, the joy 
of the dance, and the much-indulged-in gentle art of making 
love. Naturally, the mind of Rezdnof was disposed to be 
impressed, and all the more so when he beheld Concepci6n 
Arguello, the acknowledged beauty among the yoimg women 
of the province. 

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Rez&nof was indeed captivated by the lovely Concei)ci6iL 
But there is a blot on the escutcheon of this famous romance. 
It was inextricably interwoven with Rez&nof's game of 
diplomacy to get food. According to the English version of 
Langsdorff's accoimt: 

"The bright eyes of Domia Conception had made a deep im- 
pression upon his heart; and he conceived that a nuptial union 
with the daughter of the Conmiandant at St. Francisco would be 
a vast step gained towards promoting the poUtical objects he had 
so much at heart. He had therefore nearly come to a resolution to 
sacrifice himself by this marriage to the welfare, as he hoped, of 
the two countries of Spain and Russia." 

If Rezdnof s love was somewhat self-contained, it would 
seem from this that it was, nevertheless, sincere. If he meant 
to use it to obtain his diplomatic ends, he also intended to 
carry on the courtship to its culmination in marriage. As 
for Concepci6n, there was no doubt at all about her attitude. 
She was only sixteen! And she was not satisfied with the 
narrow bounds of her life in far away Alta California. 
Rezdnof made famous and rapid progress, both in love, and, 
it would seem, in Spanish, spurred on by the delightful 
incentive of a bewitching yoimg woman to talk to. Wily 
suitor that he was, he recounted the glories of the court at 
Saint Petersburg, stories that lost nothing in the telling. 
It was not long before he realized that he had this particular 
phase of his campaign well under control. As he tells it: 

''I imperceptibly created in her an impatience to hear something 
serious from me on the subject.'' 

At the psychological moment he became duly "serious," 
and was quickly accepted. Thereupon he faced the next 
hurdle, that of the family and the friars, who interposed ob- 
jections on the ground the Rezdnof was of a different reli- 
gious faith and that in any event he would carry Concepci6n 
away from them to Russia. Eventually the consent of 
parents and religious was accorded, provided that permis- 
sion for the marriage might be obtained from the pope. 

So much for the courtship in itself. Meanwhile, it had all 
along been serving Rezdnof s more mundane purposes. Con- 

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cepci6n was in a position to know what her father and the 
governor were saying about his trading projects, and she 
passed the information along to Rez^of . Once betrothed, 
Rezdnof became virtual master in the Argiiello home. 

"From this time/' he said, ''I managed this port ... as my in« 
terests required." 

Now, Rez&nof had valuable aid in his efforts to win the con* 
sent of Arrillaga to the exchange of goods. Not only did he 
and the friars redouble their mrgings, but also Concepci6n 
and Jos6 Darfo Argiiello (her father), Arxillagd's best 
friend, pleaded with the governor. Before such an attack 
Arrillaga's "conscience" yielded. He gave his permission for 
this once, but would not agree to any trading in future, un- 
less with the authorization of his superiors. The Juno was 
quickly laden, and with but little further delay Rezdnof set 
sail, on May 21, for Alaska. 

The whole affair of the courtship of Rez^of and Con- 
cepci6n ArgueUo occupied little more than six weeks, but the 
real beauty of the tale is in the aftermath, as is so alluringly 
set forth in the famous poem of Bret Harte. Rezdnof took 
his cargo to Alaska, and afforded great relief to the hard- 
pressed colony. Some time afterward he crossed over to 
Kamchatka. In September 1806 he left Okhotsk on the long 
journey across Siberia to European Russia. At Yakutsk he 
was taken sick, but resumed travel before he had fully re- 
covered. On March 1, 1807, at Krasnoyarsk, he died. 
Rezdnof s constancy, therefore, was never tested. There is 
no evidence as to how he felt toward Concepci6n after he 
left Alta California. But as for the little Spanish Calif omian 
lady, she was faithfulness itself. For years she waited for 
her lover's return, or at least for some word from him, but 
none ever came. Suitors she might have had in plenty, but 
she wanted but the one. At length she took the robes of a 
nun, and devoted herself to a life of charity. When her 
father became governor of Baja California, she went there 
too for several years, probably from 1815 to 1819. For a 
while she was back in Alta California, and went then to 

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Guadalajara. In 1829, now thirty-eight years of age, she 
returned to Alta Califomia, and thereafter remained, living 
for the most part with the De la Guerra family of Santa 
Barbara. Not imtil 1842, thirty-six years after Rez^ofs 
departure, did she at last get word of the way in which he 
died. Sir George Simpson of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany is said to have informed her. Bret Harte tells the 
story in the following lines: 

'Torty years on wall and bastion swept the hollow idle breexe, 
Since the Russian eagle fluttered from the Calif omia seas; 

Forty years on wall and bastion wrought its slow but sure 

And St. George's cross was lifted in the port of Monterey; 

And the citadel was lighted, and the hall was gayly drest, 
All to honor Sir George Simpson, famous traveler and gueet. 

Far and near the people gathered to the costly banquet set. 
And exchanged congratu^tions with the English baronet; 

Till, the formal speeches ended, and amidst the laugh and 

Some one spoke of Concha's lover, — ^heedless of the warning 


Quickly then cried Sir George Simpson : 'Speak no ill of him, 

I pray! 
He is dead. He died, poor fellow, forty years ago this day, — 

Died while speeding home to Russia, falling from a fractious 

Left a sweetheart, too, they tell me. Married, I suppose, of 

course I 

Lives she yet?' A deathlike silence fell on banquet, guests, 

and hall. 
And a trembling figure rising fixed the awestruck gase of 


Two black eyes in darkened orbits gleamed beneath the 

nun's white hood; 
Black serge hid the wasted figure, bowed and stricken where 

it stood. 

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THE ROMANTIC PERIOD, 1782-1810 417 

'lives she yet?' Sir George repeated. All were hushed as 

Concha drew 
Closer yet her nun's attire. 'Sefior, pardon, she died, tool' " 

In 1857, at the Convent of Saint Catherine, Benicia, 
Concepci6n Argiiello died. Her life had been famous not 
only for its romance but also for its kindliness and charities, 
so that she was venerated by all. Thus passed away the 
most cherished figure in the romance of Alta California his- 

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Why was it that the Spanish Calif omians did not discover 
gold? They had an opportunity of nearly eighty years' 
duration to find it and thus ward off acquisition of Alta 
California by the United States. The question is therefore 
not without importance, and it is also interesting in that it 
involves a story of their many expeditions into the interior 
^here the gold lay. Thus it is possible to link up many 
towns of the state with the Spanish traditions which other- 
wise they might not possess, except vicariously through the 
experiences of their neighbors of the coast. Closely con- 
nected with the subject of inland exploration is that of 
Indian warfare, which had its centre at times in the mission 
area as well as in the non-Christian districts of the great in- 
terior valley. 

The Spanish Calif omians had never gone in from the coast 
to make settlements. Soledad was farthest inland in the 
province, and that was only some thirty miles from the sea. 
Anza and Garc^ had crossed the desert in the south, and the 
latter had once gone north across the moimtains almost to 
Lake Tulare. Fages and Anza had ascended the San Joaquin 
River for short distances, and in 1776 Jos6 Joaquin Moraga 
crossed it, and went a day's journey farther on. Prior to 
the close of the eighteenth century at least one Spanish ex- 
pedition was made to Bodega Bay. There were also pursuits 
of runaway mission Indians just over the hills and into the 
vaUey, and certain vague explorations of the tulares. A re- 
port of Lieutenant Hermenegildo Sal in 1796 mentions 
streams which have been identified as the west, middle, and 
east channels of the San Joaquin, and the Mokelumne, as 


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also the lakes of the Mokelumne-Cosumnes basm. It seems 
that an expedition had just previously been made, in the year 
1795. Speaking generally, it may be said, however, that the 
interior was very little known, down to the close of the 
eighteenth century. Many had seen the great river valleys 
from the summits of the western hills, but few had traversed 
them, even for short distances. 

It was during the second administration of Governor 
Arrillaga that active exploration of the interior began. 
Father Juan Martin of San Miguel was one of the pioneers. 
He later asserted that he had often tried to persuade 
Arrillaga to establish a mission in the tulares, claiming that 
four thousand Indians might thereby be saved, but the 
governor was committed to foundations along the rivers, — 
meaning probably the San Joaquin and its affluents. In 
response to native requests Father Martin resolved to visit 
the swamp coimtry himself. So in 1804, without Ucense 
from anyone, he journeyed east into what is now Kern 
County, and reached a native village on Lake Tulare. He 
was desirousof taking some Indian children back with him, to 
instruct them at themission,butwas prevented when a native 
chieftain made a show of resistance. Without accomplishing 
anything of note, Father Martin returned to San Miguel. 

In January 1805 Father Pedro de la Cueva of Mission San 
Jose went with three soldiers and several mission Indians to 
visit some sick converts at a native village in the hills, ten or 
fifteen miles to the east. The Uttle party was attacked by 
Indians. Four of the men, including one of the soldiers, met 
death, and all of the horses were killed. The rest escaped, 
but all were woimded. A Spanish force of thirty-five men, 
under Sergeant Luis Peralta, was at once despatched 
against the Indians, and succeeded in killing eleven of their 
number and capturing thirty more, mostly women. In 
February, Peralta made another raid, but found that aU de- 
sire for fighting had died out among the Indians. Some of 
the chieftains from villages as far away as the San Joaquin 
came to the Spanish settlements in order to disclaim partici- 
pation in the recent outbreak. 

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It may have been in connection with this affair that an^ 
other escpedition was sent into the valley in 1805. Whatever 
it was and whoever commanded it, it seems to have explored 
a river to which the name "Rio de los Reyes" was applied. 
In translated form this has survived as ''Kings Rivw," 
whence also comes the name Kings Comity. It is probable 
that this expedition was commanded by Gabriel Moraga, 
who was to win laurels as the greatest pathfinder and Indian- 
fighter of his day. It is certain, at any rate, that at some 
time prior to the series of expeditions sent out in 1806 he 
had visited and named the San Joaquin. That river had 
indeed been known for many years, but as the ''Rfo de San 

Governor Arrillaga turned his attention to the valley 
coimtry in earnest in 1806. The Indian problem had be- 
come annoying if not serious. Runaways from the missions 
had sought both liberty and the profitable accompaniments 
of mission cattle and, especially, horses. They had also 
learned the use of firearms. Coming in contact with the 
Indians of the valley they communicated to them their 
knowledge of Spanish wayB and their appetite for horse- 
flesh, thus enhancing the danger. Viewed from another 
angle the interior, with its many tribes, promised a rich 
field for missionary endeavor. Thus the search for mission 
sites, which might serve as a means of defence as well as for 
the purpose of conversions, became a principal objective in 
the governor's plans. 

In 1806 at least four expeditions were made. The first of 
these seems to have gone out from San Francisco in April, 
but no account of its discoveries has survived. The second 
was undertaken by a party of twenty-two soldiers, one 
friar, and three interpreters, under the command of AJf6rez 
(Color-Sergeant) Jos6 Joaqufn Maitorena. No clear record 
of the expedition is extant. Maitorena left San Diego on 
June 20, and was out until July 14. He seems to have gone 
inland to the north from San Luis Rey. Beyond the fact 
that he captured two fugitive mission Indians, there is slight 
indication of either his route or his achievements. 

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Somewhat more information is at hand about an expedi- 
tion which left Santa Barbara on July 19 for the tulares. 
Although not certain, it is probable that Lieutenant Fran- 
cisco Ruiz was in command. Father Jos6 Marfa Zalvidea 
went along as diarist. The route, in terms of modem place 
namesS seems to have been as foUows. Going by way of 
Santa In^s, Jonata, Zaca, and the Sisquoc and Cuyama 
rivers, the party broke into Kern Coimty and came to 
Buena Vista Lake, which seems to have been united then 
with Kern Lake. Proceeding possibly by way of Tecuya 
they passed Uvas Creek, and reached their farthest north 
about at the site of Bakersfield, making camp on the Kern 
River. Turning south they came on the fourth day to a 
place where, years before, the Indians had killed two 
soldiers, — ^an allusion to an otherwise unknown expedition. 
Going through Tejon Pass, they turned east from Castaic 
and went well into San Bernardino Coimty, returning 
eventually by way of Antelope Valley, Cajon Pass, and Lytle 
Creek (near San Bernardino) to San Gabriel, which they 
reached on August 14. Everywhere the Indians had been 
friendly, but the lands were described generally as arid and 
alkaline. Characterizations such as this, which was repeated 
by most of the later expeditions entering that territory, were 
of no small importance in that they discouraged projected 
settlement of the valley. It is more than probable that they 
played their part in avoiding such an attempt at colonizaton 
as would have brought on the discovery of gold. 

The most important expedition of the year was headed by 
A1f4rez Gabriel Moraga. There were twenty-five men in 
this party, one of whom was Father Pedro Mufioz, the chap- 
lain and diarist. Starting from San Juan Bautista on 
September 21 the Moraga party entered the tule plain, 
probably by way of San Luis Creek in Merced County. 
Crossing the San Joaquin they came to a slough which they 
named "Mariposas" on accoimt of the great number of but- 
terflies (mariposas) that they saw. Short the final "s" this 

* Modem place names are used for all of the expeditions ooyered in this 

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name survives both for the slough and creek and for the 
county (east of Moraga's inarch) through which it flows. 
Going north and northwest they discovered and named the 
Merced River, and successively passed the Tuolumne, 
Stanislaus, Calaveras, and Mokelumne rivers. The Indian 
village of Tualamne, visited by them, is perhaps the origin 
of the modem name in Tuolumne River and Coimty, al* 
though it was located on the Stanislaus. Turning south and 
southeast the party eventually reached the San Joaquin 
where it flows southwest, forming the boimdary between 
Madera and Fresno coimties. Here they were told that 
soldiers from east of the Sierra Nevada Moimtains had come 
there twenty years before, and had fought a battle with the 
Indians. Three days later, when Moraga reached Kings 
River, the same story was repeated by the Indians. Pos- 
sibly, some not otherwise known and perhaps disastrous ex- 
pedition had formerly been made by Spaniards from New 
Mexico. Ascending Kings River, Moraga and his men 
turned south into Tulare Ck>imty, passing near or through 
modem Visalia, and went on to the Kern River. In this 
region they seem to have explored to the east as far as the 
foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Going south again, they 
rode through Tejon Pass to San Fernando, where they 
arrived on November 3. Moraga confirmed previous re- 
ports as to mission sites and Indians. Muiioz's account 
mentioned the Merced River as the best location they had 
foimd, and spoke favorably of Kings River, though a 
presidio would be required. Aside from them there were few 
promising sites. Some of the Indians had been timid, run- 
ning away from the Spaniards, but the rest had been friendly. 
Summing up the four expeditions in his bi-ennial report of 
March 1807, Father-President Estevan Tapis stated that 
they had visited twenty-four native villages with a total 
population of fifty-three hundred Indians. Mission sites 
were few, and in any event a presidio would be necessary, he 
said, because of the remoteness of that section and the great 
number of Indians who dwelt beyond the regions lately 

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In the next few years there were probably a number of 
expeditions of which nothing definite is at present known. 
For example, there is an obscure reference to an expedition 
of Luis Argliello some seventy or eighty leagues up the 
Sacramento in the same year as that of the four expeditions 
just described. The next that is authentic, however, came 
in 1808, when Gabriel Moraga made his "third expedition to 
the rivers of the north." Whether his journey of 1806 was 
the first or second and whether his probable visit of 1805 to 
the tulares (in the south) should be counted as one of those 
''to the rivers of the north" cannot as yet be asserted. At 
any rate, whatever Moraga may have done before, his jour- 
ney of 1808 was one of the most remarkable of those times. 

The object of the expedition was to explore the river 
country opposite the northern Spanish settlements for mis- 
sion sites. Leaving Mission San Jose on September 25 with 
eleven men Moraga made his way to the valley, and forded 
the San Joaquin just south of the point where it is joined by 
the Calaveras, near Stockton. He then ascended the 
Calaveras in its entire length from the San Joaquin to its 
source in the Sierras, without fiinding a suitable mission site. 
Presently he crossed to the Mokelumne River to the north, 
and explored that too through all its length, with like re- 
sults. Going north he came to the Cosumnes, and went up 
that as he had done in the case of the Calaveras and the 
Mokelumne before it. Proceeding yet farther north he 
struck the American River, apparently just below Auburn, 
for in a distance of four leagues he reached the place where 
it emerged from the mountains. On October 9 the expedition 
camped on the lower Feather River, remarking its width and 
its overflow plain. To this they gave the name "Sacra- 
mento," employing it also, henceforth, for the great river 
which it in fact joins farther down. In this connection it 
may be remarked that at the point where the Sacramento 
and Feather come together it is the latter which makes a 
straight course north and south with the lower Sacramento, 
whereas the upper Sacramento flows in at that point from the 

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Moraga crossed the Feather River, presumably below 
NicolauS; and went north-northwest seven leagues to ''a 
mountain range in the middle of the valley/' — ^the Marys- 
ville Buttes. Turning west he came to the upper Sacra- 
mentO; which he called the '^Jestis Maria/' a name it long 
retained for that part of its course. He went north along the 
eastern bank about ten leagues. It would seem therefore 
that he got about to Butte City or perhaps opposite Glenn 
in Glenn County. To the west he descried the border of 
trees marking the presence of a river — ^no doubt, Stony 
Creek. Next day, the 12th, he turned east, and on the 13th 
crossed Feather River (yclept "Sacramento") in Butte 
County, certainly not far from Oroville. Going now 
through Yuba County he came at length to the American. 
In this part of his account there is a break which makes it 
impossible to say whether he traversed Nevada Coimty, but 
it is quite probable that he did so. Considerably farther 
south, several days later, he made his customary up-river 
explorations of both the Tuolumne and Merced. Crossing 
the San Joaquin at the mouth of the Merced, he went north 
to Pescadero (on Union Island), and thence to Mission San 
Jose, which he reached on October 23. 

In addition to having passed through the already well 
known regions of Merced, Stanislaus, and San Joaquin 
counties, Moraga had visited and perhaps discovered 
Calaveras, Amador, El Dorado, Placer, Sutter, Colusa, 
Glenn, Butte, Yuba, and Tuolumne counties, and may be 
also Nevada County. Great as was the achievement of this 
Colimdbus of the near Sierras, the expedition seemed to have 
been a failure in that it had discovered no suitable mission 
sites. Perhaps on that account Moraga's journey was soon 
forgotten, escaping even the attention of the all-gathering 
Hubert Howe Bancroft, but recent research has brought it 
to l^ht. 

In October 1809 a party of fifteen soldiers from the 
Monterey district under Sergeant Miguel Espinosa is be- 
lieved to have made an expedition, but the record is lacking. 
The following year, 1810, was a busy one for the indefatigable 

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Gabriel Moraga. He began with a military campaign in 
May. There was an unconverted tribe in the vicinity of 
Snisun, north of Snisun Bay, that had been committing 
depredations against the Christian settlements, killing mis- 
sion Indians. So Moraga was sent with seventeen men to 
attack them. Crossing Carquines Strait, Moraga engaged 
one hundred and twenty natives. Eighteen were captured, 
but were set at Uberty since they were already in a dying 
condition from their wounds. The rest took refuge in three 
huts. All in two of the huts were killed, and those in the 
third burned to death rather than surrender when the hut 
was set on fire. For this action, which was r^arded as a 
most brilliant affair at the time> Moraga was promoted to a 
brevet-Ueutenancy. In November of that same year there 
was some Indian trouble in the vicinity of San Gabriel, and 
Moraga was ordered south. His reputation had preceded 
him, and the situation was soon well in hand. 

Meanwhile he had made several explorations of the in^ 
terior. The first was from August 15 to August 28. With a 
party of sixteen soldiers. Father Jos6 Viader, and four 
Christian Indians, Moraga set out from Santa Clara, and 
went by way of the "Arroyo de las Nueces" (a name which 
has survived as "Walnut Creek") into Contra Costa County* 
Passing Carquines Strait and the mouths of the Sacramento 
and San Joaquin, he presently marched south up the west 
shore of the latter. At some point in Merced County he 
turned west along San Luis Creek, and went through a pass 
in the mountains to San Juan Bautista. 

Word came that the Russians were at or near Bod^a. So, 
in September, Moraga was sent in that direction to recon- 
noitre. At the mouth of Tomales Bay he met three American 
deer hunters, and went with them to their barracks and fri- 
gate at Bodega. Going northwest he came to Santa Rosa 
Creek and the Russian River. Thence he returned to San 
Francisco by way of Sonoma, where later the mission San 
Francisco Solano was established. 

In October, Moraga was sent to the valley again, to look 
for mission sites as usual and to capture runaway mission^ 

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Indians. With twenty-three soldiers, fifty armed Indians, 
and Father Viader, he left Mission San Jose on October 19, 
and struck east to Pescadero. Next day he captured eighty- 
one natives, fifty-one of whom were women, whom presently 
he released. Crossing to the right bank of the San Joaquin 
he ranged the country watered by the Stanislaus, Tuolumne, 
and Merced, without any further success in capturing run- 
aways. On October 27 he reached Santa Clara. Neither on 
this expedition nor in that of August had he f oimd satisfac- 
tory mission sites. Indeed the previously much praised 
Merced country was now characterized as unsuitable. 

Something new in exploration marked the year 1811. This 
was a visit to the river country by boat in October, the 
first attempt in this fashion since the days of Ayala, a genera- 
tion before. Sergeant Jos6 Antonio Sdnchez was in com- 
mand. The party proceeded by way of Angel Island past 
the now well known Point San Pablo and Point San Pedro, 
noting Petaluma Creek in San Pablo Bay. Presently they 
went by an island later called "Yegua,'' a name which has 
survived as "Mare Island.'' Going through Suisun Bay, they 
ascended the west branch of the San Joaquin. Later they 
entered the main channel and (at the point where the 
Southern Pacific now has its crossing west of Stockton) the 
east channel. Retiuning to the mouth of the San Joaquin, 
they went a little way up the Sacramento, making the first 
recorded navigation of that stream. Going through Nurse 
Slough and Montezuma Creek, they came out about a 
league east of Suisun, and then ascended Suisun Creek as 
far as modem TJlatis. Thence they returned to San Fran- 
cisco. One site on the lower Sacramento was named by them 
as a possibility for a mission foundation. 

By this time there had come a change in the direction of 
Alta California aflfairs that was to affect the whole Indian 
problem, including the matter of interior exploration. 
Priestley has described it as follows: 

"During this epoch the revolutionary movement in Mexico was 
having its far-away and indirect effect on the life of the California 
missions. The friars no longer were sent north to replace the aged 

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or retired missionaries; money could not be sent, nor were reports 
returned to the College of San Fernando. Generally, California 
missions and political government alike suffered from neglect in 
Mexico, for neither the Spanish government nor the revolutionists 
had power enough to be efficient in the far distant north. Hence 
it is not strange that the numerous expeditions made in search of 
mission sites bore no fruit in foundations, especially as any such 
expansion would have required not only friars but presidial forces 
and expenditures as well. Meantime there had been a change for 
the worse in the attitude of Indians and whites toward each other; 
the points of contact had become more numerous, and friction con- 
sequently greater. Because a constructive Indian policy dominated 
by strategic expansion of the presidio-mission system was imprac- 
ticable, it was logical that the white man should attempt to hold 
the natives in check by the comparatively weak method of puni- 
tive expeditions." 

Moraga's campaigns at Suisun and San Gabriel in 1810 
were a part of the new policy. A conscious plan of mission 
expansion was now superseded by the hitherto incidental 
factors of pursuing runaways, recovering stolen animals, 
and punishing the Indians who had committed the robberies. 
In November 1811 there was trouble again at San Gabriel. 
At one time it was reported that eight hundred Yumas or 
Mojaves had approached that post with the intention of 
destroying it and the other neighboring missions. Rein- 
forcements were sent, and no attack was made. 

The coming of the Russians to Alta California in 1812 
directed attention to the north bay country. From 1812 to 
1814 Gabriel Moraga made three trips to the Russian settle- 
ments of Bodega and Fort Ross, thus becoming well ac- 
quainted with the trails and valleys of Marin and Sonoma 
coimties. There seems to have been no important expedi- 
tion to the great central valley in 1812, but one of October 
1813 is of some interest. This was commanded by Sergeant 
Francisco Soto, who thirty-seven years before had attained 
to distinction as the first child of the conquering race to be 
bom at San Francisco. With a hundred Indians from Mis- 
tfon San Jose and twelve soldiers who came from San 
Francisco in a boat, Soto fought a battle on some unnamed 
river, presumably the San Joaquin. It is said that the 

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Indian enemies numbered a thousand men, of whom many 
were killed, while the Spaniards won the victory with a loss 
of but one mission Indian. 

In October 1814 a fresh search for a mission site in the 
tulares was made. The commander of the expedition was a 
sergeant (Juan Ortega?) whose name does not appear. The 
accoimt comes from Father Juan Cabot, who was a member 
of the party. They went from San Miguel to Lake Tulare, 
near which point they got into some difficulties when they 
attempted to serve as peacemakers between two warring 
tribes. In a "battle'' with one of them the Spaniards lost 
two horses and the Indians one old woman. Peace was 
restored, and the party went on to the vicinity of Visalia. 
On their return they crossed Kings River, and made their 
way to San Miguel by a more northerly route than that by 
which they had come. 

The arrival of Governor Sold in 1816 was marked by the 
so-called "great expedition" of that year into the tulares to 
recapture runaways. It seems that simultaneous expeditions 
were made from different points. Authentic accoimts of 
two of them have survived. Sergeant Juan Ortega, with 
Father Cabot and thirty soldiers, was in command of the 
party which went out from San Miguel. Leaving there on 
November 4 he proceeded to the valley, where he made a 
night march to avoid being seen by the Indians. On the 
next night, at Kings River, he tried to capture two fishermen, 
but they escaped and gave the alarm, wherefore no renegades 
were caught. Proceeding to the Kaweah River region in 
the vicinity of VisaUa, he continued his unavailing search 
for runaways, finding that the natives were in great fear of 
his party as a result of stories told by escaped mission Indians 
from Soledad. On the fifteenth, Ortega joined Sergeant 
Pico's party. 

Sergeant Jos6 Dolores Pico, with Father Jaime Escudo 
and a body of soldiers, had left San Juan Bautista on Novem- 
ber 3. On the eighth, at some point in the general vicinity of 
the junction of the San Joaquin and Kings rivers, he fell upon 
an Indian village, and captured sixty-six Indians, of whom 

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fifty seem to have been Christians. After effecting a junc- 
tion in the upper reaches of Kings River with Sergeant 
Ortega, Pico marched with his now enlarged party to the San 
Joaquin. On one occasion two hundred and fifty horses 
were seen, most of them recently killed. A large band of 
animals was recovered, however, and sent back to the mis- 
sions. While at Mariposa Slough, the Spaniards were mis- 
led by the Indians, who thus enabled a number of renegades 
to escape. On November 29 Pico reached San Juan Bau- 
tista with ten sick soldiers and only nine prisoners. Gov- 
ernor Sold boasted that the ''great expedition'' had been a 
pronounced success, but Father Tapis was probably correct 
in characterizing the results as unsatisfactory. 

In May 1816 an expedition for religious purposes waa 
made by Father Luis Martinez, who was accompanied by a 
body of soldiers. Martinez left San Luis Obispo for the 
tulares, carrying on operations in the vicinity of Buena 
Vista Lake. He reported that the natives were so unrea- 
sonable as to prefer their existing unhappy condition to the 
benefits they might derive away from their homes at the 
missions. He did succeed in buying one boy in exchange for 
beads, blankets, and meat. On one occasion when the 
inhabitants of a village had fled at the approach of his party, 
messengers were sent to bid them return, but the mes- 
sengers were received with darts and cries of "Kill the coast 
people!" In revenge therefor the native village was burned. 
No suitable site for a mission was found. Yet the biennial 
report of Father-President Mariano Payeras (1815-1822) 
for 1815-1816 again urged the founding of missions and a 
presidio in the valley, naming the Visalia district as the best 
location. Two years later he repeated his recommendation. 
But the time had passed when any such project was likely to 
receive favorable action — ^fortunately, perhaps, for the 
Atlantic coast republic to the east. 

For a number of years, interest in the great river region 
had lagged. This now revived, and between May 13 and 
May 26, 1817, an expedition was made by boat from San 
Francisco. Luis Arguello, then a lieutenant, was in corn- 

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mand. Fathers Narciao DuhLn and Ram6n Abdla weste 
members of the party. In their voyage up the Sacramento 
it is possible to identify various of the channels they followed 
and some of the places wh^ie they stopped. At one time 
they took refuge from a terrific wind behind Montezuma 
Hills, near Rio Vista. Below Clarksburg they got a view of 
the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Going on, it would seem 
that they passed what is now Sacramento, being very prob- 
ably the discoverers of that ate, and got nearly as far north 
as the mouth of the Feather River; at any rate they got 
within sight of the Marysville Buttes, which were said to be 
ten leagues farther on. Ck>ming down stream they turned 
off at Brannan Island and followed a branch to the southeast 
some eleven or twelve leagues. Returning to the Sacrar 
mento, they proceeded home, mentioning by name the dimes 
between Antioch and Black Diamond still called Los 
Medanos (the dunes). At diff^^nt times on this expedition 
the Indians told them of other white people beyond the 

On December 14 of that year an establishment was made 
at San Rafael which blossomed forth to all intents and pur- 
poses as a mission, although it was rated merely as a branch 
of San Francisco. The site was probably reconunended by 
Gabriel Moraga, who had passed that way several times 
since 1810. Father Luis Gil was elected to take chaj^e, and 
went th»« accompanied by several other friars, including 
Father Vicente Sarrfa, who conducted the dedication 
ceremonies. Perhaps the most interesting fact connected 
with the founding was the reason which lay behind it. Con- 
temporary Spanish docmnents point out that the Indians 
of San Francisco were dying at an alarming rate, and it was 
believed that San Rafael would be a more healthful site. 
Viewed locally there can be little doubt that this was the 
principal factor. Among other causes assigned, one at least 
deserves conun^it: that it was in opposition to the Russians 
of Fort Ross. This has been asserted by Russian writers, 
and most certainly in earlier years (in the era of the ''aggres- 
sive defensive") it would have occurred to the higher Spanish 

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authorities as a motive for settlement. To be sure, a mission 
could hardly serve as a military bulwark, but it could sub- 
stantiate a claim to territory, or minimize the value of a 
foreign allegation of sovereignty. 

Some evidence to this effect appears in the account of 
Father Payeras of a visit by Luis Argiiello, Father Gil, and 
himself to that section late in May 1819. Passing through 
San Rafael in an investigation for a mission site they went 
to a tract of land (back of Point San Pedro) which Payeras 
called Gallinas, a name which still appears on the maps. 
Climbing the highest hill to the east they looked out on 
Petaluma plain on the one hand and the great river and 
mountain range to the east on the other. Only a few white 
men had crossed the Sierras, Payeras said; there had been 
some wanderers who had gone from village to village, selling 
their clothing for food, and making their way to San Jose. 
One wonders who they were! Referring to the region set- 
tled by the Russians, Payeras suggested that it might be 
brought into communication with the bay if a presidio were 
put at a known favorable location three leagues from Point 
Bod^a and if missions were established at Petaluma and 
Suisun. Evidently, as Priestley points out, his mind "was 
dwelling on the presence of the Russians, and this motive 
[for missionary activity in that section] must be added to 
that of the health of the neophytes of San Francisco*'* 

At about this same time an event took place at the San 
Buenaventura mission which was to bring on a new series of 
interior expeditions. Indians from the Colorado had de- 
veloped a practice of coming to the southern missions in 
small parties to trade. One such party of twenty-two 
Mojaves reached San Buenaventura on May 29, 1819. They 
were not cordially received by the mission soldiers; indeed, 
they were required to remain in the guard-house, pending 
their departure next day. On the 30th, while all were at 
church, save a sentry and the Mojaves, a disturbance arose 
at the guard-house. A general fight ensued in which ten 
Mojaves, two Spanish soldiers, and one mission Indian were 
killed, and several Mojaves captured, though they sub- 

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sequently escaped. The alann was spread throu^out the 
province, as it was feared that the Ck>lorado River tribes 
would seek revenge. Reinforcements were sent to San 
Gabriel, which was particularly exposed to attack, and 
sentries were posted in the mountains to the east. Mean- 
while, runaway mission Indians and tribesmen of the great 
vaUey were causing the coast settlements more than usual 
annoyance, especially by thefts of horses, which by this time 
the Indians had learned to ride. Therefore Governor Sold 
resolved upon another campaign on a large scale, to settle 
these various issues. 

Of the three expeditions organized, the first to get under 
way was that of Sergeant Sinchez. Early in October, with 
twenty-five men, Sdnchez proceeded from San Francisco by 
way of San Jose to the lower San Joaquin valley. At or near 
modem Stockton he had a great battle vath the Mokelunmes 
in which the enemy lost twenty-seven killed, twenty wotmd- 
ed, and sixteen prisoners, besides forty-nine horses which 
S^chez recovered. One mission Indian was killed and five 
soldiers were wounded. For this achievement Sinchez was 
advanced to the rank of brevet-a^^fre^ in the following year. 
Among the private soldiers in Sanchez's party was Jo86 
Maria Amador (son of Sergeant Pedro Amador, a grizzled old 
veteran who came to Alta California in 1769), whose name 
is preserved in modem Amador County. 

The second expedition to start was that of Lieutenant 
Jos6 Maria Estudillo, with a force of about forty men. 
Leaving Monterey on October 17, Estudillo marched by way 
of Soledad and San Miguel into the tulares of Kern Coimty. 
He found that everywhere the Indians seemed to be aware 
of the Spanish expeditions. News of his own foray had been 
sent on from Soledad. He himself was able to get informa- 
tion of the other expeditions. Estudillo's precise route is 
hard to follow, but he reached the foothills of the Sierra 
Nevadas in Kern County, in the same region that Moraga 
had explored in 1806. Going north to the Visalia district of 
Tulare County, he turned west, crossed Kings River, went 
on down that river and the San Joaquin, and then turned 

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west to San Juan Bautista, which he reached on November 
13, arriving at Monterey three days later. The expedition 
had not been a great success from the standpoint of capturing 
runaways, recovering animals, or indeed from any stand- 
point whatever. Estudillo recommended that further ex- 
amination should be made of the Visalia, Kings River, and 
San Joaquin country before any conquest should be at- 
tempted. In any event, he said, a presidio with a force of a 
hundred and fifteen men would be necessary; amission 
alone would not sufi&ce. 

The third and greatest expedition of the year was com- 
manded, as might have been expected, by the veteran 
Gabriel Moraga, now a lieutenant. This was not only to 
capture fugitives but also to punish the Mojaves for the San 
Buenaventura affair. The force included fifty-five soldiers, 
four of whom were artillerymen with a small cannon, besides 
a great number of mission Indians and native allies. Father 
Joaquin Pascual served as chaplain and diarist. Moraga 
left San Gabriel on November 22, following the line of the 
present Santa Fe Railway through Cajon Pass into the 
Mojave Desert. The route through the desert cannot well 
be identified, but presumably a direct course for the Mojave 
villages was taken. The distance recorded as having been 
traveled should have brought the expeditionaries to the 
present eastern boundary of California, or just short of it. 
It would seem, therefore, either that they stopped when 
already not far from the Colorado River, or else (if their 
direction were slightly north of east) that they got at, near, 
or over the Nevada line; it is at least interesting to think of 
Gabriel Moraga as the possible discoverer of Nevada. One 
place near their farthest east was alluded to as having been 
visited by him three years earlier, — a reference to an ex- 
pedition not otherwise known. With respect to the objects 
of the foray, however, the expedition was a failure, — ^the 
only known blemish on the record of Gabriel Moraga. Lack 
of grass and water weakened the horses and mules to such an 
extent that they could go no further. So Moraga turned 
back, and was at San Gabriel again on December 14. 

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This was the last known campaign of a man whose ex- 
ploits are altogether too inadequately recorded in the history 
of California. Moraga Valley and Moraga Road in the east 
bay region do indeed recall the name, but not to the extent 
that this intrepid explorer deserves. It is fitting to take 
leave of him with some further accoimt of his career. As a 
boy he came to Alta California with the second Anza expedi- 
tion, and lived at San Francisco, where his fath^ (JosS 
Joaqufn Moraga) was first commandant. He enlisted as a 
private in 1784, and rose successively to the ranks of cor- 
poral (1788), sergeant (1800), aljirez (1806), brevet-lieu- 
tenant (1811), and lieutenant (1818). From about 1818 he 
began to seek retirement on grounds of old age and chronic 
rheimiatism, but his petitions seem not to have been granted. 
His service-sheet of 1820 records that he had taken part in 
forty-six expeditions against the Indians, — ^vastly more than 
the few of which the historians as yet have knowledge. 
Three years later, on June 16, 1823, he died at Santa Bar- 
bara, and was buried in the graveyard at the mission. He 
was described by a contemporary as a tall, well-built man of 
dark complexion, brave, gentlemanly, and the best Cali- 
fomian soldier of his time. Bancroft incorrectly refers to 
him as "illiterate" (for there are not a few Moraga docu- 
ments, written as well as the average of his day), but goes on 
to say that he was "honest, moral, kind-hearted, popular, 
and a very energetic and successful oflScer." Surely Gabriel 
Moraga, known discoverer of many interior regions, probable 
discoverer of yet more, worthy man, and meritorious soldier, 
deserves well to be remembered as one of the most exemplary 
figures in the history of Alta California. 

One last exploration for mission sites was made in 1821. 
By this time the issue of secularization of the missions had 
become prominent in Alta California, being an outgrowth 
from legislation of the Spanish Cortes in 1813 that all missions 
established ten years should be secularized and the mission- 
aries should move on to new conversions. Animated possibly 
by this prospect. Father Payeras made a search for new sites. 
Accompanied by Father Jos6 Sdnchez, who kept the diary. 

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he left San Diego on September 10. Going northeast by way 
of El Cajon, he came to Santa Isabel m the centre of San 
Diego Comity. After making explorations for leagues 
aroimd, the two friars went north by way of Pala, Temecula, 
and San Jacinto to San Bernardino. Tmning west they 
made their way to San Gabriel, where they arrived toward 
the end of September. They had found three sites which 
they deemed suitable for a mission, Taqui (near Santa Isabel) 
and Pala in San Diego County, and a point on Lytle Creek 
north of San Bernardino. It is also interesting to note that 
at San Jacinto and San Bernardino there were ranches 
respectively of San Luis Rey and San Gabriel missions and 
that there were over four hundred Christian Indians in the 
valley between San Bernardino and San Gabriel. 

Something like old ideas were revived to bring about the 
last and possibly the greatest of the expeditions into the 
interior under Spanish rule. Rumors were current to the 
effect that a party of Englishmen or Americans had estab- 
Ushed themselves within forty or fifty leagues to the north 
of San Francisco. Spurred on by the possibility of foreign 
danger Sold decided upon an expedition to get information 
and expel the intruders if necessary. Luis Argiiello, famous 
not only as the brother of Dofia Concepci6n and as a later 
governor of Alta California but also as an explorer, with a 
record of achievement second only to that of Gabriel Moraga, 
was chosen to take command. Including oflBcers, there were 
fifty-nine soldiers in his party, besides Father Bias Ordaz as 
chaplain and diarist, John Gilroy (of whom, later) as 
EngUsh interpreter, and a number of mission Indinas. 

Leaving San Francisco on October 18, Argiiello and his 
men crossed Carquines Strait, and then started north. 
Crossing Solano and Yolo counties they came to the Sacra- 
mento River at a point above Grimes in Colusa County. 
Here they were informed that men like themselves had been 
m that neighborhood. Proceeding, in the main, up the right 
bank of the Sacramento they crossed Glenn and Tehama 
counties possibly to Cottonwood Creek, which forms the 
boundary between Tehama and Shasta counties. It appears 

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that Gilroy had been in this vicinity before, for Father Ordaz 
records what he had formerly seen from the heights near by. 
It would seem that they now crossed the lower end of Trinity 
Coimty to the Eel River, though it cannot be stated whether 
they reached it in Hmnboldt, Trinity, or Mendocino County. 
At any rate they turned south, presumably up the valley of 
the Eel. At one place they learned that four horsemen of un- 
known nationality had recently passed by, and one native 
had some blue cloth from Bodega. Riding through Men- 
docino County from north to south they caught sight of the 
coast, and two days later were at the Russian River, perhaps 
a little above Cloverdale. Crossing a mountain they came 
to an Indian village near Santa Rosa. Going on through 
San Rafael they at length reached San Francisco on Novem- 
ber 15. Thus ended "Argiiello's exi)edition to the Colum- 
bia,'' as it was long popularly called, possibly because the 
foreigners they sought were supposed to have come from the 
Columbia River region. No foreigners had been found, but 
there had been some minor skirmishes with Indians, though 
most of the natives had not been hostile. 

This was the last of the expeditions under Spanish rule, 
but allusion may be made here to one other of 1823 which 
led to the foimding of San Francisco Solano mission at 
Sonoma. Like San Rafael the new mission, which proved 
to be the last, was an expansion of San Francisco, with some 
hint also of providing an outpost against the Russians. A 
Californian deputy, Francisco Castro, accompanied by 
AJfirez Jos^ Sdnchez, with nineteen men, and Father Jose 
Altimira, made the preliminary exploration. They left 
San Francisco on Jime 25, went in a launch to San Rafael, 
and then ranged the plain from Petaliuna to Sonoma, Napa, 
and Smsun. They were in doubt between Petaluma and 
Sonoma for a mission site, but at length decided for the 
latter, planning also to have cattle ranches at Petaluma and 
Napa. On July 4 a cross was set up at Sonoma, after which 
they began their return and two days later were in San 
Francisco. On August 25 Father Altimira was back at 
Sonoma, and its activity as a mission started. 

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Expeditions into the interior did not end with the change 
of flag in 1822 from Spanish to Mexican, but they were of 
less importance than formerly, being largely for the purpose 
of recovering stolen animals and punishing the Indians for 
their depredations. The idea of an inland mission was never 
again entertained by the Franciscans, though there were a 
nimiber of suggestions on the part of the secular authorities 
for such establishments, — at Santa Rosa, — along the Kern, 
San Joaquin, Kings, and Chowchilla rivers, — and ia a chain 
of missions from Santa Rosa to Hiunboldt Bay, largely as 
an anti-Russian enterprise. On the whole, however, political 
troubles within the settled area of the white population were 
much more engrossing than interior exploration. Thus the 
gold remained undiscovered. At length John A. Sutter 
founded his settlement at Sacramento. American colonists 
trickled through the passes in the mountains, and estab- 
lished themselves in the great valley, — and then came the 
revelation which transformed a one-time EQspanic land into 
a great American state. 

*Thu chapter is based almost script of Professor Herbert Ingram 
wholly on an as yet unpublished manu- Priestley. 

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Alta California was one of the few regions now part of 
the United States which had an active share in the Spanish 
American Wars of Independence. Alta California's military 
participation was limited to one brief naval attack of some 
insurgent ships, but even this is not without historical 
interest. It will be a surprise to many to know that the flag 
of Argentina — or Buenos Aires as it was then more commonly 
called — was once raised at Monterey. For a moment it was 
at least possible that Alta California might free itself from 
its political connection with Spain and become one of the 
many independent republics of Hispanic America. Fortu- 
nately for the present occupants of the territory, Alta Cali- 
fornia was loyal to the mother country. In the main, the 
people of the province were ignorant of the reach and im- 
portance of the series of wars which were being fought 
throughout the Americas. They received but little news, and 
were constantly under the impression that the revolts were 
nearly over. They never doubted that the kiag would win. 
Down to 1818 they themselves were not called upon to take 
part ID the struggle, but from the very first they suffered on 
account of it. After 1810 the supplynships ceased coming 
for a number of years, and never again resumed their former 
annual schedule. The salaries of both missionaries and 
soldiery stopped with them. This occasioned a changed 
basis in the life of the settlements which was to foster the 
movement that eventually brought about the American 

Illicit trade took the place that the San Bias ships had 
previously filled as the comer-stone in the edifice of 


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provincial economy. Much of this, indeed, was with the ex- 
pressed assent of superior authority, especially in case of the 
more or less frequent vessels from Perd, which brought 
various eflfects in exchange for tallow. But there was also a 
considerable trade with Russian and American boats and 
with the Russian colony at Fort Ross. Alta California gave 
food supplies in exchange for manufactured articles. For the 
purposes of this trade, the missions were best off, by far, as 
they had the largest crops and flocks. The pueblos and a 
few of the ranch-owners possessed something, but the presi- 
dios had practically nothing to sell, at the same time that the 
soldiers were without pay. In this emergency the wealth of 
the missions was utilized to save the province. Levies of 
tallow and food products were made on them in exchange 
for drafts on the Spanish treasury. This gave the military 
something they might use in trade with the foreign ships. 
The missionaries, on the whole, gave freely. They indeed 
had a great stake in the success of the king, since victory for 
the Mexican revolutionaries meant an end to the missions, 
and they stood in absolute need of the soldiers. At times, 
however, they were grudging in their offerings, granting only 
so much as was barely necessary. Since they too were with- 
out their usual stipend from the king's coffers, it is not sur- 
prising that they did not relish this additional drain on their 
resources. As for the drafts on the Spanish treasury, they 
were never honored. The soldiers at the presidios were very- 
bitter against the missionaries, however. While their own 
families were in rags, they remarked the comparative plenty 
at the missions. In this period, therefore, there was a begin- 
ning of that agitation which was to end a few years later in 
the secularization of the missions. 

In addition to the Russian and American contacts with 
the province and the activities of the Spaniards in Indian 
warfare and interior exploration there was little of note 
that occurred prior to the "year of the insurgents" in 1818. 
In 1812 there was a terrific earthquake which destroyed San 
Juan Capistrano mission, to the accompaniment of a loss of 
some forty lives. In 1814 Governor Arrillaga died, and Jos6 

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Darfo Argdello succeeded him temporarily. Aigiiello was a 
native of Quer6taro, New Spain, who had worked his way up 
from the ranks in the army to the governorship of a province. 
He came to Alta California with the Rivera expedition of 
1781, being attached, luckily for himself, to that part of the 
command which went on ahead from the Yuma junction. 
He was much the same type of man and ruler as Arrillaga, 
but was, if an3rthing, more pious and also very popular. His 
greatest distinction, perhaps, is that he was the father of 
Concepci6n ArgQello, as also of Luis, famed explorer and 
first governor in the Mexican era. Jos^ Darfo Argiiello left 
the province in 1815 to become governor of Baja California, 
a post that he held, without pay, until 1822. He then went 
to Guadalajara, where he died in poverty. 

In 1815 came the last of the Spanish governors, Pablo 
Vicente de SoUl. Sold was of a wealthy family and very 
much of an aristocrat. like two of his predecessors, he was 
a Basque, coming from the province of Vizcaya, Spain, thus 
giving Alta California a representative from each of the 
three Basque provinces in the list of its early governors. 
His arrival was the occasion for the greatest series of festivi- 
ties that had ever taken place in the province. There were 
processions galore, the firing of cannon, religious services, 
speeches, and a military review. A special feature was his 
reception by twenty of the most beautiful girls of Alta Cali- 
fornia, all dressed in white. There was a great feast, at which 
delicacies from every part of the province were served, — 
game and other meats of various kinds, olives, oranges, 
pastries, and wine. During the day there were exhibitions 
of skilful horsemanship and a fight between a bull and a bear. 
At night, of course, there was a grand ball. Sold as a gov- 
ernor did not measure up to the splendor of this event. He 
might have fared very well in an era of fewer problems, but 
he came to the province when it was in the midst of difli- 
culties with foreign elements and hard times in internal 
affairs. As matters were, he was a peevish, ill-tempered, 
despotic, complaining, self-praising, fallow sort of person 
and a poor governor. 

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The year 1818 was the only time in Alta Califomia history, 
prior to the coming of the Americans, that an external foe 
ever attacked the province, despite many years of appre- 
hension, in earlier days, over a possible foreign danger. 
The campaign of that year is interesting not only in itself 
but also because it was connected with an important phase 
of the Spanish American Wars of Independence. The people 
of the United States were enthusiastically in favor of the 
struggling Spanish colonies. Despite the neutrality of the 
government, many Americans gave practical help to the 
insurgents in their battle for liberty. In particular they 
rendered great service as privateersmen, preying upon Span- 
ish conmierce and making the seas unsafe for Spanish opera- 
tions, except under cover of a strong convoy. Many of these 
American ships were little better than out-and-out pirate 
craft, even when they in fact took out letters of marque from 
some patriot government, but it cannot in justice be denied 
that they were an important element in the eventual success 
of the Spanish Americans. Baltimore was the chief port in 
which these vessels were fitted out, — despite the sincere 
efforts of the United States government to break up the 
practice, — so that the term ' Baltimore ship' became 
synonymous with "patriot craft" or ''pirate," according to 
the point of view These vesse s would niake their way 
south to Buenos Aires, perhaps carrying a cargo of muni- 
tions, and once there would receive conmussions as pri- 
vateers. It was one such American vessel, though whether 
or not from Baltimore is not yet known, that took the lead 
in the attack of 181& 

The commander of the expedition was a certain Hippolyte 
de Bouchard, a Frenchman, who had previously been serv- 
ing in the Buenos Aires navy as sergeant-major. He was a 
man of strong and determined will and a fiery temper and 
was a strict disciplinarian as an officer. In charge of a second 
ship with him at the time of his arrival in Alta Califomia was 
an Englishman named Peter Comey, whose journal is thus 
far the principal source of information from the insurgent 
aide for the events of the campaign. As he did not join the 

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expedition until it reached the Hawaiian Islands, the specific 
events prior to that point are somewhat obscure. 

It seems that in May 1818 a ship called the Santa Rosa, 
flying the patriot flag, touched at the Hawaiian Islands. 
The captain showed a suspicious readiness to sell the vessel to 
King Kamehameha, wherefore the island monarch ordered 
an investigation. The Santa Rosa had a valuable cargo of 
dry goods, of which it was quite evident that it was in un- 
lawful possession. So Kamehameha seized the ship, and con- 
fined the crew. It was ascertained upon examination that 
the Santa Rosa, alias Checka, alias Baca, alias Liberty, 
originally an American ship, had been fitted out in the Rfo 
de la Plata as a privateer, whence it had sailed for the Pacific 
to cruise against Spanish commerce. It had captured a num- 
ber of Spanish vessels, destroyed various towns, and in fact 
become "the terror of the coast." Meanwhile, a nimiber of 
mutinies had taken place, with accompanying changes in 
captains. It is likely that the Santa Rosa was more pirate 
than patriot. At any rate, in September 1818 a much larger 
ship, the frigate Argentina, under Captain Bouchard, came 
to the Hawaiian Islands with orders to capture and reclaim 
the Santa Rosa "wherever she may be foimd." Con- 
sequently, Bouchard demanded possession of the vessel and 
crew from Kamehameha, a demand that was immediately 
complied with. It was at this time that Bouchard met 
Comey, and induced him to join his expedition as com- 
mander of the Santa Rosa. 

Late in October the two vessels left the Hawaiian Islands, 
bound for Alta California. The Santa Rosa had a motley 
crew of a hundred men. Thirty of them were Kanakas, and 
the rest were divided amoi^ Americans, Spaniards, Spanish 
Americans, Portuguese, negroes, Philippine Islanders, 
Malays, and a few Englishmen. The officers seem for the most 
part to have been Americans. On the Argentina there were 
two hundred and sixty-six men, of whom fifty were Kanakas, 
and the rest a mixed crew, like that of the Santa Rosa. The 
ships are said (though not by Comey) to have carried re- 
spectively twenty-six and thirty-eight guns* 

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Meanwhile, the Spanish Califomians had been warned* 
In 1816 they learned that a fleet of patriot vessels had 
blockaded Callao, and were informed that they might soon 
come north. During the next two years the province was 
kept in a state of suspense. At one time in 1816 it was re- 
ported that the Buenos Aires privateers, imder William 
Brown, were threatening the entire coast as far north as the 
Californias. During that same year a strai^e craft was 
sighted, heading for Monterey. The alarm was given, but 
the vessel proved to be a smfil schooner. The captain dis- 
claimed hostile intentions, declaring that he had sailed from 
China for the Hawaiian Islands with a cargo of merchandise. 
The next day, when it took its leave the ship was carefully 
watched until it disappeared from view. The Spanish Cali- 
fomians were never certain of its identity, and later were 
convinced that it was a spy of the insurgents. In 1817 an 
English vessel which stopped at Monterey received the same 
suspicious scrutiny. The excited state of mind of the 
provincial authorities is reflected in the later, though ob- 
viously inaccurate, account of this visit given by an Alta 
California chronicler. 

"In 1817," he says, "a large ship, really that of Bouchard, an- 
chored at Monterey, claiming to be an English man-of-war en- 
gaged in scientific exploration." 

According to this writer, Bouchard himself was in command. 
Gradually the fear of an insurgent attack subsided, and the 
inhabitants began to acquire a sense of security. This 
feeling was rudely disturbed early in October 1818. In that 
month the American ship Clarion^ under Captain Henry 
Gyzelaar, put in at Santa Barbara. Gyzelaar told Jos6 De 
la Guerra, commander at that post, that two vessels were 
fitting out in the Hawaiian Islands for an attack on Alta 

Immediate preparations for defence were undertaken. 
Articles of value were boxed, and sent to the missions of the 
interior. Similarly, livestock was driven inland, and the 
women and children were ordered to be ready to leave at a 

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moment's notice. Stores and provisions were gathered at 
the presidios, and sentinels were posted along the coast. 
There followed a long, nerve-wracking wait of more than a 
month. At lengthy the enemy ships were sighted. According 
to some accoimts they were first seen near San Francisco, 
though they did not try to enter that port. Off Santa 
Cruz a landing was attempted, but was prevented by a 
violent storm, and the vessels proceeded south. 

It was on November 20 that a sentinel at Point Finos, near 
Monterey, reported the approach of the two ships. The total 
force of the place, forty men in all, was assembled. The 
principal shore defences, of eight guns, were in command of 
Sergeant Manuel G6mez, who was said to be the uncle of an 
officer on one of Bouchaid's ships, a certain Luciano G6mez. 
A new battery of three guns was improvised on the beach, 
and placed in charge of Corporal Jos4 Vallejo. That same 
night the Santa Rosa came in, and anchored in the port. As 
Comey puts it: 

''Being well acquainted with the bay, I ran in and came to at 
midnight under the fort. The Spaniards hailed me frequently to 
send a boat on shore, which I declined." 

The next day there was a battle, the accounts of which are 
in a state of confusion. It is said that the Santa Rosa opened 
fire, though it would seem that the insurgent leaders first 
parleyed with SoU. They asked him for supplies, which he 
declined to furnish. Bouchard sent off six boats from the 
Argentina, after the conflict had begun. While they were 
advancing Corporal Vallejo opened up with the guns of the 
improvised battery, which alone[ of the Monterey defences 
was imknown to the enemy. Taken by surprise, Bouchard 
ordered the boats to return. The Spanish Calif omians say 
that Comey lowered the flag of the Santa Rosa in token of 
surrender, after first having sent off six boats with most of the 
crew to the other ship. Believing it to be a trick, Gk)vemor 
SoU directed Vallejo to continue firing, but G6mez ordered 
him to stop. It is said that Vallejo, who figures as the hero 
of this fight, declined to obey G6mez, believing him to be in 

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league with the enemy. G6mez then commanded the soldiers 
of the fort to open fire upon the battery, but in great indigna- 
tion they refused. Comey makes no mention of the reputed 
surrender. At any rate, the Santa Rosa was not in fact 
captured. Meanwhile, the second officer of that vessel, 
Joseph Chapman, an American, came ashore with two 
sailors. All three were taken prisoners by the Spaniards. 

The second phase of the battle opened with the advance 
of Bouchard and the ArgenHna. Bouchard sent a flag of 
truce ashore with a formal demand for the surrender of Alta 
California, to which SoU claims to have made the gran- 
diloquent reply that he would not take any such course 
"while there was a man aUve in the province." When 
nothing came of the parleying, Bouchard landed a consider- 
able force — four hundred men according to the Spaniards, 
or more than the total on both ships! — near Point Pinos. 
Alferez Joq6 Estrada with a small troop was sent to 
oppose them, but, seeing that he was greatly outnumbered, 
he ordered a retreat to Monterey. According to Comey 
"The Spaniards moimted their horses and fled," following 
a charge in which the Kanakas, armed with pikes, took the 
lead. There followed a brief encoimter at Monterey, where 
by this time Soli had a force of eighty men. Sold deemed it 
prudent to retreat, and did so in safety, carrying with him 
some munitions and the archives of the province. He 
stopped at Rancho del Rey, an estate on the site of present- 
day Salinas. Here he was joined, a little later, by reinforce- 
ments from San Francisco and San Jose. Thereupon, two 
hundred Spaniards and a large number of Indians set out 
for Monterey, but got there to find the town in flames and the 
ships disappearing below the horizon. Arrived at the 
presidio they picked up two prisoners who claimed they had 

Meanwhile Bouchard and his men had been in Monterey 
about a week.* They had buried their dead, cared for the 
wounded, and made repairs on the ships, especially the much 

^According to Bancroft he departed Ck)mey says it was December 1st 
on the night of Noyember 26-27. when they left. 

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diunaged Santa Rata. The town itself was sacked. Comey 
tells the story as follows: 

"It was well stocked with provisioiis and goods of every descrip- 
tion, which we commenced sending on board the Argentina. The 
Sandwich Islanders, who were quite naked when they landed, 
were soon dressed in the Spanish fadiion; and all the sailors were 
employed in searching houses for mon^ and brealdng and ruining 

Few buildings in the town escaped burning, and even the 
orchards and gardens were destroyed. The Spanish Cali- 
fomians were wont to ascribe this ruthless pillaging to 
Luciano G6mez, one of the two villains in this provincial 
drama. As for the other, h